A FORMER pub is set to be turned into a restaurant after plans were given the go ahead.

An extension to the rear of the building in Halliwell Road, previously the Sharman Arms, has also been approved.

Planning permission was already in place to convert the property into a shop with two self-contained flats above it.

This latest application, which relates to the ground floor only, was approved by councillors at the town hall last week.

It was brought to the planning committee because the proposal goes against council policy.

Planner Jodie Turton explained why officers recommended that councillors approve the plans despite this.

She said: "The building remains vacant and boarded up and the current proposal would secure the future use of the building which in its present state has a negative impact on the character and appearance of the area."

Council policy restricts applications for the use of restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and takeaways when there are residential properties adjacent.

In this case there would be two flats above the restaurant and a first floor flat in the adjacent building.

Pollution control officers raised no objections to the proposal and agreed to a noise assessment and details provided about extraction.

The restaurant can operate between 9am to 11pm, Mondays to Saturdays, and midday to 11pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

Ms Turton added: "Recent appeal decisions for similar locations in the borough have allowed such proposals recognising that given the background noise levels, volumes of traffic, other similar uses and the fact that residents in designated centres should expect a degree of noise and disturbance."