The major reconstruction of an edge-of-town centre nursery building into an 18-apartment complex looks set to go ahead.

Wale Jones's application to convert Parsonage House in Blackburn Road, Accrington, has been recommended for approval by Hyndburn Council planning committee when it meets in Wednesday.

The stone-built detached property was originally a vicarage when constructed in 1856 and is currently the Oscar Bears nursery with 108 places.

After consultations with Hyndburn Council planners Mr Wales has reduced the number of proposed one and two-bedroomed flats from 24 to 18.

Now his revised application to convert the two-storey building and its basement and add a four-storey extension will be debated by councillors.

It is recommended they grant planning permission with 24 conditions.

An officer's report says: "The application property is a stone-built detached building with associated car parking close to the town centre of Accrington.

"The building has been used as a children’s nursery since 1996 but the number of children attending the nursery has fallen and the business is considered by the applicant to be no longer viable.

"The proposal is to convert and extend the building to provide nine two-bed apartments and nine one-bed apartments.

"A total of six apartments would be provided within the existing building, including within the roof space.

"To the rear of the building it is proposed to erect a four-storey rear extension on the existing car park,

"The proposed extension would be attached via a glazed link and would contain the remaining 12 apartments across three floors.

"The proposed extension would be constructed from red-facing brickwork, straw-coloured brickwork corner and banding features and man-made slate.

"The apartments would be fully accessible.

"The external area to the front of the existing building would be used as communal gardens.

"The scheme has been amended to ensure that all apartments have acceptable levels of light, outlook and privacy and would provide a good standard of living accommodation.

"The following financial contributions are sought: payment towards waste/recycling containers at a cost of £2,700; the sum of £8,365 towards formal sports, outdoor sport and equipped play space; and an off-site contribution towards replacement trees.

"The principle of development is acceptable in this edge of town centre location.

"The proposal would provide 18 self-contained apartments that would contribute to the supply and choice of housing in Accrington and would ensure the continued use of an existing building that contributes positively to the character and appearance of the area."