A DOCTOR'S surgery which closed six years ago could be given a new lease of life as an apartment block.

Plans have been submitted to Copeland Council to convert the former Catherine Street Surgery in Whitehaven into flats.

The plans, lodged by Remarkable Property Investments LLP, are to turn the empty building into six apartments – five one-bedroom flats and a two-bedroom flat.

The doctor’s surgery closed in 2016 and patients were moved to the nearby Whitehaven Medical Centre, which also shut last year.

The land under the applicant’s control is at No. 80 Lowther Street, consisting of the existing building and its parking area for approximately eight spaces behind the building.

Application documents outline a vision to improve the overall appearance of the building alongside the plans for conversion.

They state: “This application proposes external alterations to the building, which would have the dual aim of improving its appearance and providing a more suitable standard of accommodation within the building.

“These alterations have been designed with the intention of improving the building’s appearance. For instance, by replacing the large existing door with a smaller residential-style door to the building frontage on the ground floor.”

They added: “These alterations would give the building a simpler and more unified appearance as a residential development and make it appear more aesthetically appealing.”

The applicant asserted the sustainability of the project both in terms of providing new housing and also in terms of its location. They felt that the plans fell in line with Copeland’s Local Plan, which is aiming to add 230 new homes per annum, and were a continuation of Copeland’s target within the wider plan for the North West.

“New housing in the town centre will help to enhance its vitality by providing trade for shops and pubs, throughout the week. The site’s location within a couple of minutes’ walk of much of the primary and secondary shopping frontages makes it ideally suited in this regard.

“The site’s sustainable location also makes it ideal to encourage non-car modes of travel, thus reducing carbon emissions.”