A building that has been used to keep dead bodies before a funeral could soon be turned into flats.

For nearly 60 years J.B Shakespeare has used the building at 21-27 Sheldon Street as its chapel of rest.

But nearly two years ago, due to rising costs, the funeral directors submitted a planning application to demolish the building and replace it with 23 flats.

Now a council officer has finally recommended the plans be approved.

"J.B Shakespeare has operated on the site since circa 1960, when it was relocated from Crown Hill to accommodate the construction of the Flyover," a planning statement prepared on behalf of the funeral director said.

"The buildings have since become expensive to maintain, and are contextually outdated in regards to its use and character of the surrounding area."

In the planning officer's report that will be presented to council at a meeting on Thursday (April 19), he said that a big reason he recommended the part three-part four storey building for approval was that it would provide 50 per cent affordable housing.

"The proposed flats would provide high quality living accommodation for future occupiers in accordance with London Plan standards," the officer wrote.

"The design, scale and massing would not harm the living conditions of the neighbouring residents."