One of Bury town centre’s most recognisable buildings is to be transformed into seven flats.

The Union Club at 1 The Rock, was built around 1874 and is Grade II listed.

Plans approved by Bury Council in the past week propose to convert the four-storey neo-Gothic building into seven apartments.

Previous plans to convert the building to housing were passed in 2015 but the latest scheme suggest changes, including building a flat in the basement and two apartments on the third floor instead of a family unit.

Bury Times: A view of the building from the parish church gardensA view of the building from the parish church gardens

A design and access statement in support of the plans, said: “The applicant believes that the target audience are young workers or new families who are more likely to live in the town centre.

"The introduction of town centre living will help to revitalise Bury, especially aiding local cafés, independent shops, bars and pubs.

“The location overlooks the parish church and the gardens surrounding this.

"There is a certain quietness and peaceful aura.

“It allows the creation of a unique living space where the architectural merits of the building, both the exterior and interior can be appreciated by its users.”

A heritage report published by Bury Council outlines the importance of the Union Club to Bury’s history.

It said: “The building has been identified as a key building within the development of the town and its location within the conservation area.

"It has architectural interest which can be seen in the construction, craftsmanship, and decoration of the building with two principal façades that overlook the main road and church gardens.

“The Union Club has played a significant role in the development of Bury.

"The building was occupied by Martins Bank Ltd.

"The building in recent times has shifted uses from a bank into a commercial shop.

“Today, the building struggles to be occupied and has been left, causing it to lose its former glory.

"This has caused deterioration in within the façade which will require repairing.”

Planning officers concluded that the plans would be beneficial to the maintenance of the building.

Their report, said: “The proposal would redevelop the upper floors of a vacant, run down and poorly maintained building and would support the regeneration of a listed building within a conservation area.”

Planners in Bury approved the plans on Friday, June 17.