NEW maritime-themed apartments in Barrow town centre have been given the go-ahead at a former shop which was last in use four years ago.

At a meeting in the town hall, Barrow Council’s planning committee agreed the project for 128 Buccleuch Street.

The building on the corner of Allison Street facing Emlyn Street, will be developed into eight high-quality serviced apartments, complete with a shared gym.

Plans lodged with the council said the accommodation would be operated by Jae Vee Ltd and marketed to out-of-town professional contractors.

The apartments would offer a dedicated reception and guest services team as well as laundry and housekeeping.

The management service would be delivered by Barrow-based Maid In Cumbria, the applicants said.

The building would be ‘themed’ to celebrate the town’s shipbuilding heritage as historically it was once a ship’s chandler, said the application.

Artwork from Barrow will be featured on the walls with each apartment named after local landmarks such as Roa Island and Piel Castle.

Hallways would also be dressed with ‘lanterns and rope sculptures,’ to commemorate Barrow’s seafaring past.

Planning officer Maureen Smith told councillors the application required a change of use of from a shop to allow a more ‘hotel-type’ use.

She said: “Each unit will include a sleeping area, kitchen space and en-suite shower area. The real issue to make sure this doesn’t end up being permanent residential accommodation.”

The maximum stay for guests is limited to 90 days.

The application was tabled by Barrow-based Shepherd Architecture and Surveying Ltd. 

Cllr Colin Thomson, the Labour councillor for Walney South, recommended the plans be approved and the committee agreed with conditions.