AN APPLICATION to demolish a block of shops in Moss bank has been formally submitted.

The Star reported in October after housing group has confirmed that a block of shops are set to be demolished due to a "serious structural issue".

The business premises and flats on Bassenthwaite Avenue, Moss Bank, are to be knocked down, Torus said.

The aim is to replace the parade of shops with modern facilities, however, the flats will not be replaced.

Business owners and tenants were told they will be able to remain at the site until January and have been offered alternative temporary premises on Wythburn Crescent, Carr Mill.

A prior notification has been issued to the council, stating the date proposed for the demolition is January 20.

The businesses at the location include a chemist, a barber shop, a general store, a cafe, a Chinese takeaway and a tanning salon.

The block, known by residents as the 'Bottom Shops', has been at the site for more than 60 years.

Torus said the decision was made after the structural issue was discovered during a stock condition assessment.

The group added it is "committed to supporting" tenants during the "unsettling" period and businesses have been offered temporary premises.

Torus insisted that the demolition is taking place with a view to constructing new "more modern" shops at the site subject to planning permission.

A spokesperson for Torus said in October: "During a stock condition assessment of the premises at Bassenthwaite Avenue, a serious structural issue was discovered. We immediately installed temporary supports, to maintain the structural integrity of the premises.

"The shop parade has commercial leaseholders on the ground floor and residential tenants on the upper floor. Due to the structural issues with the building, we will be demolishing it with a view to replacing the parade (subject to Board approval and planning permission) with newer, more modern shop units. The residential units will not be replaced but the tenants are being offered re-housing."

They added: "We are committed to supporting our tenants, however we can, throughout what we appreciate may be an unsettling time.

"The process to re-house the residential tenants is underway and the businesses have been offered the use of temporary premises so that they can continue to trade over the coming months."