The arson-ravaged Accrington Conservative Club site will be turned into a luxury apartment block after plans were unanimously approved.
Owner Iftakharul Bhatti submitted an application to Hyndburn council to transform the site into a seven-storey complex with 26 one-bedroom apartments and 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.
Councillors unanimously approved the scheme at a planning meeting this week and said it will ‘look 100 per cent better than it does now’.
Duncan Isherwood, a planning agent speaking on behalf of Mr Bhatti, said the apartments will be available to rent or buy and building work will begin ‘in the next few months’.
He told the planning meeting that it was a ‘very sensitive scheme’ and that they had gone through an ‘extensive design process’ to find an ‘ideal solution’ for the building.
Simon Prideaux, the council’s chief planning officer, said the Conservative Club was a ‘landmark building’ and that they have ‘worked closely with the applicant and agent so a satisfactory scheme could be achieved’.
One objection letter was submitted, claiming that the development would be ‘overbearing’.
Ward councillor June Harrison told the planning meeting: “It will make it look 100 per cent better than it does now. It will be made of the same slate and stone as what is already there.
“It will all fit in and look nice. I think it’s good.”
Coun Tim O’Kane said it is currently a ‘dangerous site’ and that the plans are ‘about as good as it’s going to get’.
Coun Bernard Dawson said: “I think we all want to see something happen with the site.
“When we think back to what it was, it was the biggest Conservative club in the country. We all remember the building as it was.”
Coun Jean Battle said: “I think it’s a great shame the building ended up like it is now but this is about regenerating it. It will be a great asset for Cannon Street.”
Coun Paddy Short said it was an ‘absolutely stunning’ building and that he ‘can’t wait to see what it looks like’.
The scheme will include 20 per cent affordable housing, internal parking for 10 spaces on the ground floor, three staircases and a lift.