PLANS for the former British Cooperative Society building in the town centre – a Grade II-listed site – have been approved.

The landmark building will be turned into flats after Barnsley Council’s planning board approved an application.

Now called Arcadia House, the town centre building was built around 1886.

The site is currently unoccupied but has previously been used as offices by the Barnsley and Rotherham MIND.

The premises have been vacant for several years.

Plans were originally submitted in February to turn the first, second and third floors of the unit into 14 self-contained flats.

The application was given the green light by the council’s planning board earlier this week.

A report states: “The current owners wish to apply for a change of use to residential dwellings in view of a lack of interest following attempts to re-let the premises and the resulting lack of demand for large town centre office accommodation following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The development is in a highly sustainable location, being close to all local amenities and public transport network.

“Whilst on-site parking facilities cannot be achieved we are nevertheless of the opinion that this would be both a feasible and in-demand proposition.

“Whilst we acknowledge a partial loss of employment space, the proposal will ensure sustainable use of the building and maintain its heritage as a listed structure.”