Plans to change a vacant funeral directors into nine self-contained apartments have been withdrawn and replaced with proposals for bedsits.

The new application would see part of the building turned into a house of multiple occupation (HMO) for up to eight people, with a two-storey extension built.

Paul Jackson applied to Blackburn with Darwen Council to change the former Scales Funeral Direcots in Darwen Street, Blackburn, into nine flats.

However, this application was then withdrawn and a new one submitted, seeking permission to change part of the building, which became vacant in September 2021, into a HMO.

In his application Mr Jackson concedes the building has no parking facilities and has flooded numerous times.

The plans also have to overcome a clampdown on HMOs brought in by Blackburn with Darwen Council in August.

A cover letter submitted alongside the application reads: “This building has now been empty for quite some time.

“It was up for sale for three years with no real interest hence it going to auction.

“The building is situated in a flood zone three area, it has no parking at all and it is adjacent to one of Blackburn’s busiest roads that has no stopping areas at all making it very unattractive for business use.

“The building in its current format, has flooded multiple times, twice suffering water ingress in the last 12 months from flash surface water flooding.

“Each flooding incident had surface water running down multiple roads to flood at the lowest point which is the Darwen Street and Canterbury Street junction.

“No form of planning application can change these substantially negative USP’s and realistically, with a plethora of similar commercial units available on the outskirts of the town centre, this building has very, very few viable options.”

The covering letter went on to say the applicant had worked with the council to try and remedy the flooding situation with the gullies being cleared, which will hopefully decrease the risk of flooding in the future.

The letter continued: “With a combination of the substantial upgrade measures to the fabric that I am proposing coupled with improved maintenance of the surface water drains, I am confident the property will be more than capable of staying dry on the inside in the event of any future flooding events.”

The plans were registered by the council last week, with anyone wishing to comment on them having until November 29 to do so.