PLANS for an old pub formerly described as an “eye-sore” have finally made progress.

An application has been approved to convert the first floor of the former Three Pigeons pub into two apartments.

A number of plans have been submitted over the last decade to renovate the pub in Blackburn Road, Astley Bridge. But there have been numerous delays.

Planning permission was originally given in 2012 to turn the pub into a bar and restaurant, with seven flats built at the back.

It was then reported in February 2018 that Nick Howcroft, the owner, envisaged that the plans would be complete in 2019. However this is yet to be the case.

Work has now started again on completing the building of the flats which should be completed in six months, according to Mr Howcroft.

He said: “We’ve faced a lot of delays over the years as I’ve had to prioritise other sites I’m developing around Bolton.

“I’ve got 10 sites going at once and I’ve had to prioritise the ones that tenants are wanting to move into, which has delayed this site.

“But we are now dedicating our time to this site and should have all nine flats done in the next six months. It should look amazing when it’s done.”

The bar and restaurant on the ground floor is set to be delayed however.

Mr Howcroft plans to make this space into a hybrid coffee shop, bar and restaurant but doesn’t feel it is the right time to open with the uncertainty created by the pandemic.

He added: “Now just isn’t the right time to be opening a pub with all the uncertainty around. The amount of work that has had to go into making my pubs Covid safe. But with the risk of closing down it just isn’t worth opening a new one right now.”