A GRADE two listed building in Summerseat is to be converted into a teacher training centre.

Summerseat House, which was built in 1836, has previously been used as a girls' school and a learning centre for pupils who had been excluded from mainstream schools.

The plans, which were submitted by Bury Council, were approved at a meeting of the council's planning committee on Tuesday night.

The most significant changes involve the demolition of a classroom at the rear of the site, replacing the majority of windows, restoring a number of architectural details that were defective or have deteriorated, enclosing an existing walkway to create a corridor, and replacing the doors on the house's stable block.

There will also be a new car parking scheme with 114 spaces and 16 trees will be removed, to be replaced by 20 new trees around the site.

There will typically be between 40 and 60 trainees per day at the centre, although this could occasionally rise to 130 over the course of a day.

Three objections were received from residents in Summerseat Lane and Walmersley Road, and from Cllr James Daly.

They cited the "additional vehicular congestion within Summerseat particularly disruptive to those living in the Village" and the loss of trees.

Cllr Daly wrote: "As one of the councillors for the area I wish to object to the proposal for such a huge number of car parking spaces and the destruction of grassed areas around Summerseat House in the green belt to allow the said to be built.

"I do not believe the road network around the site can cope with such a large increase in traffic which appears to be on a daily basis."

A statement from Historic England added that "notable and long term" harm could be done to the building, and said: "Whilst the proposed parking layout option is the most sensitive of the options considered, it will inevitably result in a level of harm occurring to the setting of the listed building, which would be difficult to mitigate regardless of layout."

In their report to the committee, planning officers wrote: "There is clearly a balance to be struck between the conservation and restoration of the site

and its continuing use as an educational facility or indeed its long term viability in any other future use. The proposal would facilitate further investment into the site and allow the listed buildings to be conserved and enhanced, something which has, in reality, not happened to a great degree in the past."

Cllr Alan Quinn was the only member of the planning committee to object to the plans.