A LANDMARK pub will be replaced with shops and homes — despite the plan being refused three times by Bolton Council.

A planning inspector has approved plans to bulldoze the iconic Greenwood Arms in Horwich to make way for 13 homes and three commercial units, including apartments and shops.

Bolton Council had thrown out the application three times in less than 12 months, but after the last refusal in May, the applicant’s planning consultant, Bolton-based Sedgwick Associates, decided to appeal the decision.

On December 5, they discovered that the appeal had been upheld.

Paul Sedgwick, principal of Sedgwick Associates, said it had been pleasing to get the application passed.

“It gives a clear future action for the site. It has been an eyesore in Horwich for far too long,” he added.

The plans describe three shop units, including a Spar, with apartments above, lining Chorley New Road.

They also include 13 homes, to be built on the former bowling green at the rear of the public house.

The decision comes after vandalism and numerous arson attacks have left the building in a dilapidated state.

In just one week in July, three fires were deliberately started in the pub, including one which took 25 firefighters three hours to extinguish and gutted the inside of the building.

The Greenwood Action Group had called for the pub, which dates back to 1899, to be restored to its former glory and re-opened.

They said they were saddened by the decision.

Campaigner Roy Greenhalgh said: “The Greenwood Action Group held a dignified campaign in order to stop the development because we don’t think that is what Horwich needs, especially with traffic conditions.

“At least we managed to get the plans rejected three times, but unfortunately it went to the planning inspector in Bristol.

“Obviously the decision was not made on localism and it wasn’t made with a view to save the pub.”