A SCHEME to turn Accrington's derelict Karrimor building into a business and retail complex has taken a step forward after councillors gave it the green light.
Members of Hyndburn Council's Planning Committee granted permission for the conversion of the former industrial site on Eastgate into offices and shops.
Renovation work to make the four-storey building structurally sound is already being carried out and officers said the scheme would visibly improve a key area of the town.
In his report to the committee, development control manager Brent Clarkson said: "This building has blighted a main road corridor through Accrington for many years. The balance of retail and office space will provide the best opportunity for a successful development."
Mr Clarkson said although a tenant had already been lined up for the office accommodation, which will take up three floors, plans for the ground-floor retail units had not been discussed in detail.
But he said a condition of the planning permission was that the shops should not sell food, in order to discourage customers from parking on nearby streets and causing congestion for residents. The site itself will only have enough car-parking spaces for the office staff.
He said: "We anticipate that people who shop at this site will park at public car parks in and around the area. During the evening, there is a need from local residents for on-street parking and in order to help this along the applicant is happy to have the opening hours restricted.
"There will also be no food sales - it won't become a small supermarket for example - as people could be inclined to park there as a result."