PLANS have been formally submitted to convert former town centre public toilets into street food units, a bar and ice cream shop.

Imperial Bar owner Ian Pitts is seeking to convert the building on Brook Street, St Helens.

Plans also seek permission for a first floor extension to create a seating area, along with the creation of pavement seating.

The new development would be called Imperial Quarter, say plans.

The planning application has been formally submitted to the council by Mr Pitts and agents RJG Architecture.

Mr Pitts owns nearby establishments including the Imperial Bar & Terrace, Cork & Dough, The Secret Garden, The Church, The Wine Bar and The Yard.

He started converting the former toilet buildings into a pop-up bar earlier in the summer but has now unveiled much more ambitious plans for the site.

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A planning statement in the application said: "It is proposed to convert the previous public convenience into Imperial Quarter by refurbishing the existing ground floor and creating a first floor for seating.

"There will be outdoor seating to the frontage which has been applied for in a separate licensing application. The ground floor will be the home for six independently run high quality local street food operators and will work alongside the client’s other bars and restaurants.

"Part of the unit will be converted into an ancillary ice cream shop, together they will create approximately 20 new jobs."

Plans add: "This local street food and bar business model has been successfully operating in cities around the UK over the past few years, attracting a wide demographic. Imperial Quarter is a smaller scale version suited to St Helens and is likely to prove a highly desirable location for the locals and will attract people from neighbouring cities."

The application says there is "potential to provide a lunch time service in association with St Helens College" but that Imperial Quarter’s opening times will predominately be 4pm to 10.30pm on Thursdays and Fridays; midday to 10.30pm on Saturdays and midday to 9pm on Sundays.

The Star reported when the former public toilets went up for auction last year after they were closed by St Helens Council as a way of making savings from the environmental service budget.

St Helens Star:

The toilet block was sold at auction

The plans are on public consultation until Wednesday, October 7.

A determination deadline has been set for November 4.