Plans to turn an iconic Cockermouth property into seven residential flats should be refused, say town councillors.

A change of use application has been submitted to transform the upper floors of the ex-HSBC building on Main Street from financial and professional into seven residential flats, with the ground floor still being used for commercial use.

Councillors had no issues with the change of use but were opposed to the creation of a flat roof extension in the conservation area and lack of parking.

"This is meant to be a heritage town, all the other roofs are slate peaked," said Councillor Alan Kennon at a recent meeting.

"I think this would look absolutely ridiculous and spoil the other skylines in the area.

Mayor Julie Laidlow said: "I agree, there should not be a flat roof. The main building is beautiful, this would be totally out of keeping with the area."

Councillor Grace Bennion questioned the number of parking spaces. "There are 14 bedrooms, eight parking places is not enough," she said.

"Parking around there is really difficult as it is."

They also voted to recommend refusal of an application to change the former Nat West bank on Station Street into a takeaway with external alterations.

They said the signage was not in keeping with the conservation area design guide.

Mayor Julie Laidlow said: "Potentially opening this building could lead to the closure of one or two buildings next to it."

Councillors also considered an application for advertising signs at Strawberry Grange. Story Homes applied for permission for four flags, two signs and three boards on Strawberry How Road.

Councillors will recommend refusal on the basis of overdevelopment.

"It's way too much," said Councillor Grace Bennion.Councillor Isabel Burns described it as "over the top".