A fruit and vegetable shop building in a busy district centre is to be renovated as four new retail units.

The existing greengrocers occupies the ground floor while the upper storey is currently empty.

Hamidraza Isa has been granted planning permission to turn the whole building in Whalley Range in Blackburn into four modern shops.

The conversion also involves the addition of double-storey rear extension, a replacement shop front and the insertion of first floor display windows

Blackburn with Darwen Council has approved the changes with five conditions including restricting the opening hours of the new shops to 9am to 8pm.

A report by planning officer Jamie Edwards said: "The host property has existing retail functions at ground floor, the proposal to create four new independent units will provide opportunities to help diversify and enhance the retail offer within the Whalley Range District Centre.

"It was apparent on my site visit that several of the properties present like-for-like arrangements to those proposed.

"As such, the proposal is not considered to result in unduly harmful impacts to the adjacent domestic occupiers.

"Consideration must be given to the existing provision as a food supermarket and a four-bedroom first floor residency which would create a similar level of demand for parking.

"It should also be pointed out that approximately 280metres away a recent re-development of the former Blakewater Care Home site has resulted in the introduction of a new public car park which provides 58 bays.

"On that basis, this nearby provision would adequately serve future users.

"Turning to servicing, it is considered there will be less frequent deliveries etc. for the new proposed units compared to the existing arrangements, and therefore no new highways impacts will arise."

A supporting statement submitted with Mr Isa's application, by Nazia Shah of Urban Future Planning Consultancy Ltd, said: "The double-fronted application property has been occupied by a fruit and veg shop for several decades with the upper floor in a vacant and poorly maintained condition.

"The applicant seeks to put both floors to effective use through a high-quality reconfiguration of the ground floor in to two retail units and the conversion of the upper floor in to two retail units with a contemporary glazed shopfront / display window.

"The proposed development will promote consumer choice and result in new-business formation and job creation in times of great economic uncertainty."