REVISED plans to turn an arson-hit former Indian restaurant into eight flats have been approved.

Planning permission for the development at the old Agra Fort in Cambridge Road, Ellesmere Port, has been in place since September 2017.

However, the new owners – who purchased the building in 2019 – put forward amended proposals in March this year to alter the design of the property to improve both the internal layout and the bin and cycle storage.

Those plans have now been approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council, with one of the conditions being that work on the development must begin before September 14 this year.

Last month, an arson attack caused "significant damage" to a ground floor extension at the rear of the two-storey building.

The original planning application for eight, one-bedroom flats was submitted on behalf of the previous owner Abdul Jilani in May 2017, and was given the green light four months later.

The new owners, Chester-based Key Investors Ltd, purchased the building prior to it going to auction in February 2019 where it had a guide price of £165,000 to £195,000, according to property management firm Smiths and Sons.

In the revised planning application, it stated: "The applicants purchased the site with this planning permission in place and have submitted the required information to discharge the only pre-commencement condition.

"The applicants will implement this planning permission to ensure it is not lost. The currently permitted conversion however is seriously compromised in design, there is an awkward car parking arrangement and inadequate cycle storage and refuse and recycling provision.

"A number of the proposed apartments are also very small and awkward and would not offer a quality of life to future occupants. On the basis of the above constraints of the presently permitted scheme this variation of condition application is submitted to alter the proposed internal arrangement to allow for a more logical layout which removes entrances from Newton Street and the alleyway to the rear of the property.

"As with the previous consent the new plans will provide a total of four doorways to Cambridge Road, however these will now give access to all eight apartments."

The council planning report, which recommended approval for the amended plans, said: "Permission is sought for a minor material amendment to alter the internal layout and access, increasing the size of the eight flatted units by way of a rear extension which increases the height and width of the building's two existing rear projections.

"The amendment proposes a low wall on Cambridge Road frontage and an amendment to the rear layout with the incorporation of a secure

walled rear yard for off street cycle and bin storage with outbuilding and reduction of the number of off street parking from four to two."