Police have welcomed plans to demolish an office and redundant hotel and build 12 new homes– saying it will help reduce crime in the area.

Proposals have been launched to create the new properties on Egerton Street, Farnworth.

The building was formerly the White Horse Hotel.

Patrick O’Neill has now applied to demolish this and create 12 new one and two bedroom apartments in its place.

In a design statement, agents Williams Architecture said they had considered retaining some of the original building but this had not proved feasible.

It said: “Our client’s research indicates that there are very few good quality modern apartments available in the area for single people, couples or small families.

“With the excellent public transport links to the wider employment area of Greater Manchester, the site appears to be ideal for a development of one and two bedroom apartments.

"The redevelopment proposals are based on the provision of a three storey apartment building providing a mix of two and two bed apartments at each floor with adjoining car park and bike store.”

And Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has given their backing to the plans in a crime impact statement.

The force have revealed the area has a higher rate of crime compared to other areas.

In terms of burglaries the rate per 1,000 is 21 per cent above Bolton, 38 per cent higher than Greater Manchester and 41 per cent above England and Wales.

Other crimes are also higher including criminal damage and wounding.

The rate of vehicle crime is almost 80 per cent above Bolton and Greater Manchester and 117 per cent higher than England and Wales.

GMP has said it could help reduce crimes.

In a statement, the force said: “A residential development seems to be an appropriate use for the site.

“This number of dwellings will provide a good chance of at least some residents being present throughout the day, particularly at night and at the weekend, and so casual surveillance is likely to be maintained around the development.

“The development is not large in terms of the number of apartments and likely number of residents.

“Residents should become quickly familiar with their neighbours and distinguish between residents and non-residents as they come and go, positively influencing safety in and around the development.”

Police have also recommended a number of features for the development to boost security.

These included a sign indicating its name, multiple boundaries, a high steel rail gate, clearly defined parking bays and low intensity dusk to dawn lighting.