PLANS to turn a former county court building into apartments have been granted.

A change of use application was sent to Oldham Council to convert the site at the junction of Rochdale Road, New Radcliffe Street and St Mary's Way in Coldhurst into 42 apartments.

The proposals, submitted by ACT Property Development Limited stated that all homes would be available for affordable housing.

A planning report was drafted by the local authority with officers advising that the blueprints should be approved.

The report said: "The site is located in Oldham town centre in a predominantly commercial area.

"However, it is not unusual for apartments to be located in town centres as they provide a highly sustainable location.

"The introduction of additional residential accommodation in this location can assist with vitalisation of the town centre.

"The revised scheme has been designed to meet the specific needs of the applicant, a housing association, to provide a 100 per cent affordable scheme which greatly exceeds the local plan policy requirement.

"While a financial contribution towards public open space would be required for a scheme of this nature and scale, the previously submitted viability information has indicated that such a contribution would adversely impinge on the viability of the scheme.

"Having regard to this factor and the positive benefits of bringing this prominent town centre building back into long-term productive use, it is considered that adequate justification exists for not pursuing the public open space contribution."

The application was approved by the planning committee last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, proposals to construct four detached houses on a parcel of land in Lees was given the green light in the same meeting last week.

The site where the homes will be built is off Buckley Street, next to West Street.

The application attracted 20 objections with residents airing concerns including a loss of light, loss of existing space, loss of privacy, parking and highway issues, overdevelopment and the plans not being "in keeping" with the area.

But the committee agree with with council's recommendation to approve the plans.