A CHESHIRE firm wants to turn a disused former women's refuge into bedsits.

Kristof Pinter and Christine Cooper of Acorn House Developments Ltd in Knutsford have applied for planning permission to change 302 Burnley Road in Accrington from a hostel into a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

A planning statement has been submitted to Hyndburn Council by Hartley Planning and Development Associates Ltd of Rawtenstall.

It says: "302 Burnley Road, Accrington is owned by the council.

"Until approximately five years ago it was used as a women’s refuge since when it has been vacant.

"The proposal is to use the property as a house in multiple occupation.

"The application is not for any external alterations.

"A separate application will be submitted for an HMO licence and to meet its requirements.

"The main issues are (i) the land use principle of the proposed development;(ii) the impact on character and appearance and (iii) any impact on the residential amenities of adjoining occupants and future occupants in terms of privacy and disturbance.

"The proposed development would be comparable to its lawful use as a hostel.

"The site meets the council's parking requirement of three spaces and has space to permit vehicles to enter and leave in forward gear, including service vehicles.

"The building adjoins a bus route.

"The proposed residential use is in a predominantly residential area.

"The existing building is set back from the road which reduces road noise for future occupants.

"There is no overlooking of adjoining premises.

"The site would be managed by a company very experienced in the management of HMOs."