The latest twist in the chequered history of a former town centre nightclub has emerged with a new planning application to turn it into four flats and a ground floor office with new shop front.

In June 2022 approval was given to convert Bar Java in Wellington Fold, Darwen, into seven affordable apartments aimed at young professionals.

However applicant Barry Bentley never started work on the development.

Now Karl Baxter has asked Blackburn with Darwen Council to approve his new proposals for the premises in the Darwen Town Centre Conservation Area.

Supporting statements with his planning application says: "The site comprises a former nightclub and public house located on Wellington Fold.

Lancashire Telegraph: Drawings of the proposed changesDrawings of the proposed changes

"The building is a large two-storey property of stone construction under a pitched slate roof.

"The ground floor consists of an open plan room with bar area, dance floor and seating areas with toilets to the rear.

"There is a separate cellar space.

"The first floor comprises a function area with a bar. It appears to have been used as a club/bar for many years.

"In 1980 permission was granted for an advertisement sign when it was used as the National United Service Club.

"In 1986 permission was granted for further signs when the building was called Kazy’s Club.

"The pub has had a number of incarnations in recent years, with Sky Bar said to have closed recently and before that the hostelry traded as both the Funhouse and Bar Java.

"The building was to be renamed as a night club as Project Darwen.

"However, the club never took over and the site was put up for sale with the advert stating the property trades as a public house/nightclub with a 6am license.

"The building was then purchased by someone who gained a change of use for residential purposes and then sold again to the current applicant.

"Part of the ground floor is proposed to be used by an estate agency company as their offices.

"The proposal includes the addition of a traditional shop window. Although this does alter the appearance of the building, is it not out of character for the area,

"By securing an end user, it ensures the deliverability of the proposal and brings the building back to life.

"Each apartment would consist of a living space with a kitchen area, a bathroom and two bedrooms."

Darwen West ward's Cllr Brian Taylor, who objected to the previous planning application, said: "This is a far better proposal but the applicant needs to abide by all the conservation area rules.

"It is better than having a deteriorating and semi-derelict building there."