PLANS have been approved to demolish buildings damaged in a massive fire and build new industrial units to replace them.

Proposals for a block at Westhoughton Industrial Estate, James Street relate to the premises of PK Shutters, which was affected by last June’s blaze and led to a huge fire and rescue response from throughout the region.

The new units will be spaced out to reduce any future risk of fire spreading from one building to another.

PK Shutters currently has a temporary building to enable the business to continue on a limited basis while awaiting for approval.

A statement in support of the demolition and rebuild said: “The erection of the proposed building to house units for storage, distribution and light industrial use.

“The existing two buildings on this site has had severe structural damage due to a fire in the adjoining units, the remaining structures of both buildings are not salvageable and have been deemed unsafe by the building inspector.

“These buildings are no longer in use because of the fire damage.

“The temporary building it is only running a limited percentage of the businesses potential and previous capabilities.

“The scheme has been put forward to replace the existing unusable buildings and to alleviate the positioning of the buildings and to create clear separation from neighbouring buildings to prevent such disastrous incidents occurring again.”

On June 9, 2020, firefighters were called out to the blaze in the early evening.

At its height 12 fire engines from across Greater Manchester, with support from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, were on the scene fighting the flames.

The fire covered an area 70-by-80 metres and had spread from a car repair shop to the storage units.

The application added that another business affected by the blaze, BL5 Selfstore Ltd has completely ceasing trading.

The application states: “The proposed units are reduced in size in comparison to the existing however they have been split into additional units.

“Unfortunately BL5 Self store Ltd has ceased trading due to the fire and will not be reinstated, however PK Shutters will occupy the proposed 6, 7, and 8 units with the remaining units to be let out to other businesses.

“With the increase in individual units this would create and increased employment within this area than previously capable.”

The plans include 17 car parking spaces within the site.

An officer report from Bolton Council concluded: “The proposed development would help provide continuous employment opportunities for the local community.

“The proposal would also be compatible with the character and appearance of the area, would not unduly harm the amenity of neighbouring residents or adjacent units and would not jeopardise highway safety.”