WORK could soon begin on a controversial building development at a former pub in Horwich, after developers submitted a new application.

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 landmark building.

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

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.

The building was targeted in suspected arson attacks in 2012 and has remained in a damaged state since.

But on April 11 this year, a renewed application was submitted to Bolton Council for minor changes to the plans, which could signify the start of the building process.

Developer Barnfield Real Estate Partnership Ltd has applied to make small changes to the dimensions of the planned retail units, as well as changing plans for two, two-bedroom flats on top of the units to three one-bedroom flats, citing the needs of the current market.

Planning officers believe this recent application could mean that work will begin at the Greenwood before the end of the year. Bolton West MP Julie Hilling, who backed the campaign to save the pub, said it remains a “real pity” that the building could not have remained as a pub.

She added: “It was particularly disappointing when the permission was granted because we believed there were other breweries interested.

“I drove past the building the other day and it is such a state that it is clear something has to be done there — its just a tragedy it has come to this.”

Ms Hilling’s sentiments were echoed by Horwich Town Cllr, Kevan Helsby, who said: “It is a bit of an eyesore and I think people want it sorted out — but obviously I wish it could have remained as a pub. It was a very popular venue at one time.”