An historic former NatWest Bank building could become three apartments if plans are approved by the council.

James Mellor lodged plans with Rossendale Council earlier this month seeking permission to change the ground floor of the former NatWest Bank building in Market Street, Bacup, into three self-contained apartments.

The proposals, which will also see minor alterations made to the building’s exterior, say the developers “will respect the historic character and fabric of the building”.

A heritage statement lodged alongside the plans states: “The ground floor design preserves the building's original entrance door, serving as the main access point for all new apartments within the building.

“The double-height space beneath the dome is retained as a distinctive atrium entrance.

“This atrium not only provides access but also offers two escape routes through the main entrance and the existing fire escape door on the staircase.

“The conversion will also involve the subdivision of the internal space and the installation of new windows and doors.

“The internal subdivision of the building will be carried out in a way that preserves the historic character of the space.

“The original features of the building, such as the cornices and plasterwork, will be retained where possible.

“The proposed conversion will not result in any significant changes to the external appearance of the building.”

There is no parking associated with the building but the plans do make reference to the prominent town centre location making it ideal for public transport buses.

The statement went on: “It is clear from details above that the Bacup town centre conservation area is a significant heritage asset which has received broad support from the local community in regarding to the council’s policies and management actions for the future.

“Bacup is a remarkably well conserved historic mill town which has suffered relatively little large scale change since the late Victorian era.

“Unsympathetic development of any kind must be avoided but especially within conservation areas.

“We are cognisant that change will/does occur, but designers/developers must guard against damaging alterations.

“The proposed residential accommodation is thoughtfully designed to harmonise with the conservation area's character, promoting sustainable development while maintaining the area's unique charm.

“The conversion will be executed with utmost care, preserving the building's historic integrity and fabric.

“The resulting flats will be a valuable asset to the town centre, contributing significantly to its ongoing revitalisation.

“In conclusion, the proposed residential accommodation represents a well-conceived and sensitive approach to development within the conservation area.

“Its respect for the historic fabric, and potential to revitalise the town centre make it a valuable contribution to the area's continued prosperity.”

The plans were registered on December 15 and anyone wishing to comment can do so via Rossendale Council’s website.