PLANS to create eight flats and three commercial units at the site of a former bar, taxi office and gym have been given permission.

Proposals were submitted by applicant Paul Bond for the building at 13 to 15 Earle Street, Earlestown.

The building currently has two vacant commercial units on the ground floor, the former Shenanigans bar and Clear Cars taxi office.

Meanwhile the first floor, where it is hoped flats will be created, is a former gym.

The building is situated prominently on the corner of Earle Street and Alma Street.

Plans say the taxi unit has not been used since around November 2019 and is currently vacant. Meanwhile, the bar is currently not open due to the pandemic and the operator has indicated they will not be reopening it, even when lockdown restrictions end as it is no longer economically viable.

Plans propose to create an additional commercial unit by splitting up the existing bar area.

In the proposals a design and access statement said: "In light of the general economic climate as well as the serious consequences of the Covid pandemic, the building owner foresees very little demand from prospective tenants for the existing building due both to the economic climate as well as the poor condition of the building (with the exception of the bar).

"Therefore, the owner is seeking to inject a much-needed financial investment into the building to make it a more desirable proposition.

"As there is no way of predicting the economic outcome post Covid, the applicant is seeking a flexible end use of the ground floor, to maximise its appeal to the widest possible variety of potential commercial tenants".

Approving the proposals, planning officer Daley Parsonage said: "The proposed redevelopment and change of use of the building will bring back into full time use a notable building within Earlestown Conservation Area.

"Weight should be given to providing new residential dwellings and commercial premises within the town centre."

Work on the transformation must begin within three years.