AN ‘affordable housing’ development on the site of an old church in Great Harwood has moved a step closer.

Following consultation with residents, MCI Dev-elopments has lodged plans with Hyndburn Council to build nine two and three- bedroom homes on land in St Hubert’s Road.

The three two-bedroom mews-style, four three-bedroom semi-detached, and two three-bedroom det- ached homes would be rented out and managed by Great Places Housing Association, at a rate of no higher than 80per cent of the market rent in the area.

Although the plans have yet to be approved by plan- ning officers, they have been backed by local coun- cillors. The land has been empty since 2009, when St John’s Church was bull-dozed.

Coun Noordad Aziz said: “If the site is brought back into use – because it’s a bit of an eyesore – I’m all for it. We have lost a comm-unity building, but it’s an eyesore on one of the main roads in Great Har-wood. As long as they get the right people in, I’m all for it.”

Although there is a rec-ognised shortage of one- bedroom homes in Hyn-dburn, Coun Aziz said St Hubert’s Road would not be the right location for them. He added: “In the borough, with the bedroom tax, there’s a shortage of one-bedroom houses but, given the demographic of Great Harwood and that area, I don’t think one-bedroom houses would work.”

In a planning statement to the council, MCI Dev-elopments said it only received one piece of feed-back from a local resident after the leaflet drop - from a woman interested in renting one of the new homes.

It added: “The site is suit- able for residential dev-elopment and the prop-osed scheme will, if appr- oved, provide nine much-needed new affordable homes for local people to occupy. We consider the proposal is appropriate, and should be granted permission without delay.”

The plans will be scrut-inised by council officers.