Food and drink outlets and other small businesses could be housed within shipping containers on the fringe of a retail park.

The plans relate to an area of the King Street Retail Park, Farnworth, and would mean the installation of six prefabricated shipping containers at the site.

A similar application for eight units at the same location was rejected by planners last year.

Turning down the plans, they said the design appeared cramped and incongruous and would not be visually compatible with surrounding developments.

Applicants, Southend based Shadow Estates Ltd, said in the new application that they believe those issues had been addressed.

A design and access statement in support of the plans, said: “Following the refusal, the revised design now resolves these problems.

“The two middle units with their backs to King Street have now been removed and the two end units which would have had their backs to King Street now have additional openings which looks out on to the street and is more open and inviting. With the units removed it has opened the space and has made room for additional outdoor seating with built in planters and greenery.

“The colours of the retail shipping units have been changed to colours which resemble the area. The shipping containers which will house a variety of small businesses, the proposal also aims to provide seating areas with landscaping.

“The proposal hopes to be part of the larger regeneration plans which are happening now in Farnworth which include new homes, public square and leisure units.” The proposal would involve removing a road access with the applicant saying access into King Street Retail Park would still be possible just off King Street, with an alternative exit and entrance on Cross Street.

The site would not be enclosed with any fencing or gates and there would be several points of entry. The shipping containers, which would measure 10ft by 8ft, would be locked with a heavy-duty padlock on the doors and openings.

The application will now be considered by planners in Bolton.