A GRADE II-listed building in Pontypool town centre could be brought back into “legal use” for the first time in more than a decade under plans lodged with Torfaen council.

The upper floors of the building in Commercial Street, which was originally the main Co-Op store for the area, is proposed to be used as a clothing factory, while the whole building could also be restored and refurbished under the proposals.

A description of the works proposed includes a new shopfront on the ground floor, as well as two new shops with kitchen and toilet facilities.

The first floor will include two offices, toilets, a canteen and a store room, while the second floor will also include another store room.

A proposed schedule of works says upper rooms in the building will be converted into eight lettable bedrooms.

The revamp will include demolishing a lift shaft and building a new staircase to the back of the building.

A planning application says the open nature of the space makes the upper part of the building suitable for conversion into a small factory.

It is the second Grade II-listed building in the area which could be brought back into use after plans to convert Pearl Assurance House into flats were approved by Torfaen council last week.

“This proposal will significantly enhance the streetscape by bringing a key empty building back into use and help contribute towards the overall regeneration which will make Pontypool generally more prosperous,” a design and access statement says.

The building is currently vacant and has not had “a legal sustainable use” for more than a decade, a heritage impact statement says.

“This has led to it being used for illegal purposes on two separate occasions over the decade,” the statement says.

“Considering the current retail situation, the large number of large footprint shops currently vacant in Pontypool, and a very long standing lack of requirement for upper floor commercial space within Pontypool, it is considered exceptionally unlikely that a commercial use can be found for this building in the foreseeable future.”

The statement adds the building is beginning to “fail badly” due to water penetration issues, but that the proposals could provide “a sustainable use” for its future.

Torfaen council will assess the plans in the coming months.