AN empty high street estate agency in Westhoughton is one step closer to being turned into a coffee house after the plan was backed by councillors.

The proposal to transform the old Market Street offices of True Shone and Kerr into Millenzo's coffee and waffle bar went before Westhoughton Town Council on Monday.

The independently-owned venture by local Darren Mills comes just a month after the estate agency vacated the building when the company's lease ran out.

During the meeting, Cllr David Chadwick said: "I think the grounds for refusal are very few and far between on this one. It is not going to cause any nuisance.

"I think it is a reasonable application."

But there were questions raised about whether another coffee house was needed in the town.

Cllr Lynda Winrow-Baker said: "Do we need another coffee house? They seem to be popping up around Westhoughton."

But Cllr Anne Graham said: "I think another coffee house will be fine. In Horwich they have one on every corner and they all thrive.

"People like some variety. Coffee houses are usually pretty nice and nice inside. I do not see anything wrong with it."

The town council voted unanimously to recommend the application for approval. The final decision will be made by Bolton Council in the near future.

It is hoped that, following a full refurbishment, the premises will be open its doors late this year.

The plans for the high street coffee bar came just months after it was revealed that Costa Coffee has pulled out of its scheme to move into the former police station in Pavilion Square, which has now been taken over by Card Factory.

And it is the latest in a stream of new and independent businesses moving into Market Street.

Recent additions to the town's business community, alongside Card Factory, include The Beer School and Greek-influenced restaurant The Kitchen, which is due to open its doors on Thursday.