HOMES could be built on the site of an iconic former Grade II listed Conservative club which was ravaged by fire.

The Accrington Conservative Club in Cannon Street had to be partly demolished last year after a huge blaze damaged parts of the building.

Now ambitious plans have been lodged to to build 24 apartments on the site of the club, which dates back to 1890.

Owner Iftakharul Bhatti from Nelson-based Woodgreen Developments, who purchased the site, has applied for listed building consent to Hyndburn council for the construction of a new apartment block.

The block would incorporate what remains of the former conservative club, including the facade of the building, following its partial demolition last year.

In planning documents on behalf of Mr Bhatti, agents, Clitheroe-based Sunderland Peacock & Associates Ltd, said the new modern apartment block would provide living accommodation within an 'historic' setting.

The firm said: "The remains of the former Conservative club is the focus of this application and the applicant seeks to gain planning approval and listed building consent for the construction of a new apartment block which incorporates what remains of the former Accrington Conservative Club following its partial demolition which resulted from a significant fire.

"A suitable use for the building has not been found. It suffered from a significant fire in 2016 resulting in the partial demolition of the building."

Cllr Miles Parkinson, leader of Hyndburn council, welcomed the plans for 'much-needed housing' on an historic site 'in need of regeneration'.

Cllr Parkinson said: "I would welcome the development.

"It's a shame to see the site in the poor condition it is now, but these plans would offer much-needed housing on a site in need of regeneration.

"The quality and type of housing in this application is of importance to me. I look forward to seeing the plans."

Crews at the time of the fire said the blaze led to the destruction of internal walls and floors, which left parts of the 127-year-old building unstable and in a 'state of imminent collapse'.

Firefighters concluded arsonists had started the blaze but officers said a lack of evidence meant the investigation had been closed.

The building was constructed in 1890 and was once the largest Conservative club in the UK, attracting crowds of up to a 1,000 from across the North West with its sprung-floor ballroom.

However, this use ceased in the 1990s due to falling membership numbers.

Since then the building has been home to the former ‘Churchill’s Nightclub’ which closed its doors in 2003.

It has also had multiple renovation plans for developments including housing, offices and a restaurant rejected by the council.

Sunderland Peacock & Associates Ltd added: "The proposed development consists of a new apartment building which incorporates the remains of the former Conservative club in order to provide a new optimum viable use for the site which will sustain and enhance the remaining face of the former Conservative club."

The plans will be considered at a future meeting of Hyndburn's planning committee.