A PLAN to convert a former pub which was hit by fire more than a decade ago into a popular pizza takeaway has moved a step closer.

The popular takeaway chain Domino’s Pizza is set to move into former St John’s watering hole The Smoke Stack which was damaged by fire in 2007 and has remained boarded up since.

Whilst no formal plan has yet been submitted by Domino’s Pizza, the approved planning application gives the thumbs up to allow for the installation of a ventilation and extraction system as well as a few alterations to the building to prepare for the pizza chain to move in.

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The re-opening of the building as a Domino’s Pizza would bring at least 25 jobs.

The proposed opening hours of the new takeaway would be between 11am and 11.30pm from Sunday to Thursday and 11am to 00.30am on Friday and Saturday.

Three parking spaces would be included to be used by delivery drivers.

The pizza chain has said the ventilation system has been designed to push odour and noise above and away from any nearby flats in St John’s. Domino’s has said it does not deep fat fry any food from its takeaways which would also reduce strong odours coming from the building.

A plan was approved by Worcester City Council in 2014 to bring The Smoke Stack back to life with a number of flats built above it but those plans never got off the ground.

The demolition of the former nightclub Zig Zag’s, which sits next to the proposed takeaway, was hit with a fresh set of delays in August after the owner of the building Peter Styles decided to sell up.

A plan to build 12 new apartments above shop and office space was approved by Worcester City Council’s planning committee way back in October 2016 with the building having lay empty for more than 20 years.

Disagreements between the city council and the developer over financial contributions meant progress was halted until February this year when work was set to start before the latest delays were revealed in the summer.