A Swindon town centre nightclub hit by a huge blaze last year is set to be given a new lease of life.

Planners at Swindon Borough Council have approved Armada Holdings Ltd’s proposals to remodel the empty building at 32-24 Bridge Street - which used to be The Boardwalk - into two shops on the ground floor, and turn the second storey into five flats.

The company’s application said: “The proposal outlines a split of ground floor space to provide two separate commercial units and conversion of the existing first floor to provide five self-contained residential dwellings.

"The units will be self-contained and accessible from a new front entrance to the exterior side of the second commercial unit, as well as from the rear of the property.“

The building was ravaged by a suspected arson attack in March 2023 and has been empty since it closed as a nightlife venue 13 years ago.

Drawings show the first floor could contain one two-bed flat, three one bed-room flat and an open plan studio apartment. The permission is for outline consent, so details of layout and design will need another subsequent application to be approved.

Armada Holdings’ application said: “The front façade will benefit from the filling in of the existing recessed entrance point from previous uses and the addition of new flat windows to showcase and define the newly separate commercial units on the ground floor.

“On the first floor, new, larger window openings are proposed in order to ensure that residential units four and five have adequate access to light in bedrooms and living areas.”

The application said there would be no parking provided to the apartments, as the company was taking a ‘car-free approach’ and the town centre location would make use of a car unnecessary, although in its plans it will provide eight bike parking spaces.

The borough council’s urban design officer was not entirely impressed with the proposal and said: “The proposal exhibits unacceptable levels of overshadowing, outlook and private amenity standards.

“The proposal seeks to create a series of mostly single‐aspect dwellings with very limited opportunities for achieving and securing our amenity requirements.

“As this is an outline application, I assume the detail of the internal arrangements are not being proposed to be secured through this application as such, however given the location and the principle of development, it is important ensure that what is being proposed can comfortably be accommodated in any future reserved matters application.”

After revisions were submitted earlier this year, the urban design officer was described as ‘broadly satisfied’ and the permission was granted.