A RUN-DOWN shop in Barrow town centre could be turned into eight top-of-the-range apartments complete with a gym.

Barrow Council planners are set to rule on the application at a meeting in the town hall today.

The three-storey site on Buccleuch Street dates back 145 years and sits on the corner of Allison Street, opposite Emlyn Street.

According to a council report, the ground floor was last used as a shop in 2015.

The new plan is to offer short-term, self-contained serviced accommodation to people for a maximum of three months.

Each room would have en-suite facilities, a kitchenette with cooking facilities, and a sleeping area. It would provide what council planners called ‘self-catering/hotel type accommodation’ including a reception, laundry and cleaning service.

Council planners are being asked to impose a condition that stops it being used as ‘sub-standard permanent accommodation’ such as bedsits. They also plan to ensure that no apartment should be permanently occupied or let to the same person for more than three months.

In a report, planning officer Jennifer Dickinson said the area was ‘predominately residential’ but with some retail premises. She said: “This proposal is to bring a vacant property within the town centre back into beneficial use. Its most recent use has been for retail, and this proposal seeks to convert the property into eight serviced apartments.”

The application has attracted an objection from a nearby resident about parking.

The report said: “Parking has been raised as an issue. The close proximity to the public transport network deems the site as a sustainable location for transport. Long and short stay car parks are positioned close to the site and any requirement for parking could be met for this. The previous use of the property as retailing would have generated some traffic in terms of deliveries, staff and customers.” The application was submitted by Barrow-based Shepherd Architecture and Surveying Ltd is recommended for approval with four conditions.