PLANS to build shops and flats on the site of a landmark Horwich pub have been backed by town councillors.

The derelict Greenwood Arms pub in Chorley New Road, which closed in 2011, had been the subject of a community campaign which aimed to save the building.

The site has been the subject of several failed planning applications for permission to build retail units and apartments as well as erecting a housing development on the pub’s bowling green.

In 2012, after Bolton Council’s planning committee again rejected applications for the retail units and flats as well as refusing plans for 13 houses on the bowling green land, an appeal for both decisions to be reversed was upheld by a government planning inspector, despite continued protests from campaigners.

Now it looks like work could finally begin after developers Barnfield Real Estate Partnership Ltd submitted fresh plans for a neighbourhood convenience store, three retail units and three apartments to be built on the site.

At a meeting of Horwich Town Council, councillors agreed that it was a shame the pub could not have been resurrected but that it is time something is done with the site.

Town Mayor, Cllr Richard Silvester suggested that the building’s stone frontage could be incorporated into the new development to retain some of the building’s heritage.

He said: “If some of that stone front could be used in the new building, it would keep some of the heritage that could be lost.”

Cllr Stephen Rock added: “It is a real shame what has happened to the pub, I think there has been a pub on the site for about 100 years.

“The reality is in its current state it is dangerous, we worry about children going near it and about people sneaking inside — so something needs to be done.”

The application seeks slight amendments to the original consent granted — including an increase from two apartments to three.

The former popular pub was targeted in suspected arson attacks in 2012 and has remained in a derelict state since then.