A luxury apartment block is set to be built on the site of the arson-ravaged Accrington Conservative Club.
Plans have been submitted to Hyndburn council to transform the site on Cannon Street in Accrington into a five-storey apartment complex with a roof terrace.
The historic building was left in ruins following an arson attack in May 2016, with only the listed front facade still left standing.
Owner Iftakharul Bhatti is now aiming to create 23 one-bedroom apartments and one three-bed apartment occupying the entire fifth floor with an external courtyard area and balcony area.
There will also be a large communal terrace on the third floor and the remains of the former Conservative Club will be ‘retained and integrated within the proposed scheme’.
Mr Bhatti told the Observer that he has endured ‘years of struggle’ with the ownership of the building and now ‘can’t wait to get going’ with the development.
He said: “I’ve worked my backside off to get this done. I’ve stood by that building through everything and I’ve not change my tune.
“I want to develop it for the people of Accrington and people of England. I’m a real patriot at heart.
“We just need to get on with building it now. It’s as simple as that.”
Mr Bhatti, who runs Woodgreen Developments Ltd, said the ‘posh’ apartments will be aimed at the rental market and cost around £500 a month.
Planning documents sent to the council by Sunderland Peacock Architects said: “The scale of the building will echo the former Conservative Club and fill the void which has now been left empty by its demolition.
“It is considered more acceptable to construct a new modern and sympathetic building on such a site than it is to attempt to copy a building which previously occupied the site.
"The remains of the former Conservative Club have been retained and integrated within the proposed scheme, as opposed to its demolition, as it is highly desirable that what remains of this significant heritage asset is sustained and enhanced through its conservation and its proposed new optimum viable use.”
Police closed the arson investigation after a four-month enquiry, with no arrests made.
The building was constructed in 1890 and was later used as the Churchills Nightclub until it closed in 2003.