19th century vicarage to be converted into modern apartments - as demand for nursery places drops off

Parsonage House, Blackburn Road, Accrington
-Credit: (Image: LDRS)


A stone-built former vicarage which is currently being used as a nursery now looks set to become apartments - after the number of families using the nursery dropped off. Wale Jones’ application to convert Parsonage House at 142 Blackburn Road in Accrington has been recommended for approval by hyndburn-council>Hyndburn Council planning committee when it meets on Wednesday.

The stone-built detached property was originally a vicarage when constructed in 1856 and is currently the Oscar Bears nursery with 108 places. Now, after consultations with Hyndburn Council planners, Mr Jones has reduced the number of proposed one and two-bedroomed flats from 24 to 18.

His revised application to convert the two-storey building and its basement and add a four-storey extension will be debated by councillors. It is recommended they grant planning permission with 24 conditions.

An officer’s report says: “The application property is a stone-built detached building with associated car parking close to the town centre of Accrington. The building has been used as a children’s nursery since 1996 but the number of children attending the nursery has fallen and the business is considered by the applicant to be no longer viable."

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The report adds: “The proposal is to convert and extend the building to provide nine two-bed apartments and nine one-bed apartments. A total of six apartments would be provided within the existing building, including within the roof space. To the rear of the building it is proposed to erect a four-storey rear extension on the existing car park.

“The proposed extension would be attached via a glazed link and would contain the remaining 12 apartments across three floors. The proposed extension would be constructed from red-facing brickwork, straw-coloured brickwork corner and banding features and man-made slate. The apartments would be fully accessible.

“The external area to the front of the existing building would be used as communal gardens. The scheme has been amended to ensure that all apartments have acceptable levels of light, outlook and privacy and would provide a good standard of living accommodation."

Planning officers are asking Mr Jones to contribute costs including:

  • payment towards waste/recycling containers at a cost of £2,700

  • the sum of £8,365 towards formal sports, outdoor sport and equipped play space

  • an off-site contribution towards replacement trees

The report concludes that the development is "acceptable" in its edge-of-town-centre location. The proposal will provide 18 self-contained apartments that will contribute to the supply and choice of housing in Accrington and would ensure "the continued use of an existing building that contributes positively to the character and appearance of the area," planning officers added.