WHITEHAVEN'S former magistrates' court looks set to be knocked down - to make way for housing.

A planning application has been lodged with Copeland Council by High Grange Developments Ltd, to demolish the building and clear the site.

The company, which is behind the popular Keekle Meadows development, bought the building at auction last month, after it had been on the market for three years.

Speaking to The Whitehaven News, Gary Reed, of High Grange Developments Ltd said: "It will be residential of some kind.

"The application at the moment is to demolish what's there.

"It's a terrible shame because there's no use for the building that's there. Exactly what's going there, we haven't got the detail yet.

"I would just like to see some kind of high quality residential development be put there.

"It's just a shame there isn't a use for the existing building. It's beautiful. It's ready to occupy. There's just no use for it."

The magistrates' court closed in June 2011 and the services were moved to Workington.

Whitehaven Medical Centre later moved into the building but the surgery closed in July 2018.

The application says: "The building has no viable commercial use as it stands and is not suitable for conversion to residential.

"It has been partially stripped internally.

"Demolition and site clearance will create an opportunity to re-develop the site for residential purposes."

A heritage statement submitted with the plans says: "The nature of the former magistrates' court building is such that its design and layout mean that it would not successfully convert to another use.

"This combined with the fact that it has already been significantly stripped internally, means that demolition is the only viable solution and one that which ultimately create a re-development opportunity."

The application goes on to say that demolition works would take place between 8am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday and between 8an and 4pm on Saturday.

The site would be fenced off to enclose the working area.