A plan to convert a St Ives’ nightclub into flats has been given permission by Huntingdonshire District Council, causing concern among locals that it could spell the end of nightlife in the town.

But the owners of the Music Box nightclub have moved to reassure residents, saying that they have "no immediate plans" to convert the club.

Planning permission was granted by the district council last week after plans were re-submitted in November.

A first attempt to gain planning permission was refused in March last year.

Director of Fortquest Ltd, Simon Parsons, which owns the nightclub, told The Hunts Post: "Our planning permission gives us a viable alternative use for an important listed building should the need to convert its use arises.

"We are, however, ultimately nightclub operators and have operated the Music Box successfully for 13 years. We have no immediate plans to convert the building."

The approved plan could see the building, in Crown Place, converted into four one and two bedroom flats, with a design that is, the directors say, sympathetic to the features of the existing building and its surroundings.

Following the decision, some fear that the nightlife in the town could die out.

Taxi driver Joe West said: "As a taxi driver in St Ives I feel the news that the Music Box owners have applied for a change of use to flats is a great disappointment.

"For many years I have built up a great customer base and as the only nightclub in the area left, it would turn the late night economy in St Ives into a ghost town and effect taxis, food venues and pubs."

The owners have reassured that customers and staff that they will continue to open on Friday and Saturday.