PLANS to regenerate part of Blackburn could be kick-started if proposals to knock down an old pub are approved.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is proposing to demolish the former Griffin pub on Bank Top as part of a scheme to build 150 new homes in the area.

The application is due to go before next week’s planning and highways committee meeting, with officer Nick Blackledge recommending members approve the proposal.

The council’s plans to demolish the vacant former pub to make way for housing have angered conservationists, but Mr Blackledge has recommended permission be granted to knock it down anyway.

Several have formally objected to the scheme to knock down the pub, which was sold to Blackburn with Darwen Council by Thwaites Brewery with a restrictive covenant preventing its future use as premises licensed for the sale of alcohol.

The regeneration scheme was delayed for seven years by the refusal of two home owners to sell the final properties needed for the scheme in Mill Hill.

If approved, the council will also have permission to knock down 35 to 41 Stansfield Street and 12 to 24 Hancock Street.

The stumbling block in the council’s regeneration plans had been the refusal of the owners of one house in each of the two remaining blocks to sell.

Providing planning permission is granted, work will start later this summer on demolishing the two houses and empty properties next door to them and preparing the ground and provide roads, drainage and other essential utilities in the Griffin Regeneration Area.

The council plans to build 150 affordable homes, both private and rented by social landlord Together Housing.

It already owns the vacant pub premises and the other nine houses in the two blocks.

The area in Mill Hill has been earmarked for development since 2010.

Phase One will see more than 80 private homes for sale on the site which used to be East Street, Coleridge Street and Bombay Street.

The council is now seeking a developer.

Phase Two around Stansfeld Street and Hancock Street will see a slightly smaller development of rented homes by Together Housing.

The council declared a renewal area in Griffin in September 2010 which saw a programme of refurbishment of privately owned homes and the demolition of others using funding from final months of the government’s Housing Market Renewal Programme.

A total of 165 homes were programmed for clearance with the majority purchased by the council between 2011 and 2015.

A grant of £670,000 has been received by the council from the government’s Northern Powerhouse programme to pay for the demolition and preparation work.