Detailed plans to transform a historic Swindon landmark must be put forward by autumn, or else says Swindon Borough Council.

Planners at Euclid Street want to see a proper application for permission to redevelop the crumbling and shuttered Old Town Hall, also known as the Locarno, as flats shops and offices by September, otherwise it may withdraw form its agreement with the owner of the building and the potential developer.

The authority entered a development agreement for the building with its owner, Swindon businessman Gael Mackenzie and Swindon Corn Exchange Limited, run by Steve Rosier, which has ambitious plans for the building in the High Street.

Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Town Centre, said: “The deterioration of the Locarno has been a concern for residents and the Council for a long time. I am keen to see action, so I am pleased that Mr Rosier and the building’s owner, Mr McKenzie, have agreed to submit a planning application by the end of September 2019.

“The council is committed to the historic Locarno, and this legal agreement means the developer can finally bring the necessary regeneration forward. I look forward to seeing the plans for the site at the public consultation events in the coming months.”

Steve Rosier, of Swindon Corn Exchange Ltd, said: “I am delighted we have been able to agree a way to deliver what will be a flagship scheme for Old Town.

“SCEL have been working behind the scenes for a long time to get this important project off the ground. Historic sites are never easy to redevelop sensitively, and it is great news for us and Old Town that we have the extra time we need to submit a planning application that the whole town can be proud of.”

The agreement represents a relaxation of what the council was demanding of Mr Rosier in October - he was told to prove he had the money to proceed by November and to have an application lodged by May this year- and to have secured approval by May 2020.

The borough council owns two plots of land next to the building which are currently used for car parks.

It is very keen to see the historic building brought back into use - if a planning application isn't forthcoming it may want to renegotiate with the owner Mr Mackenzie to find another way to restore it and have it in use.

The building dates to 1852 and was a corn market, town hall, a roller rink and a cinema before becoming the Locarno Ballroom and concert hall.