RESIDENTS have been asked for their views on proposals to build nearly 70 homes and a new community centre in a village.

A residents’ group, formed to raise money to replace the dilapidated village hall in Hoghton, has put forward the scheme in Gregson Lane.

The plans have come about after resident Jennifer Turner, the owner of an area of fields, said she was willing to utilise some of her land to allow for a development of 68 houses to be built to help the community fulfil its aim of building a new centre.

Under the bid, the housing development would be built on part of the land at Daub Hall Lane, while the community centre would be erected on the existing site at Gregson Lane.

The proposal is to submit a combined planning application for the new community centre and housing development, with the aim of using the land to provide sufficient funds to pay for the construction of a brand new replacement community centre.

Residents’ group Gregson Green have been trying to raise money for a replacement centre for a number of years, as the existing centre which dates back to the 1960s has fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years.

But the money they have raised to date falls short of the estimated well over £1million they would need to build a new community centre.

It is now hoped that Ms Turner’s offer could help residents realise their ambitions of a new community centre to replace a facility, which has been a focal point of village activity and social events and functions for many years.

Jacqui Gibson, chairman of Gregson Green, said the proposals represented ‘a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a new community centre benefitting a loyal and supportive community’.

Ms Gibson said: “These plans are in the early stages at the moment and we’re just trying to gauge the views of people so we know whether to go forward with the scheme or not.

“We would then of course have to find a developer who would be willing to build the houses.

“There are conditions attached to the remainder of the land which Jennifer has offered us, which will be used for open space to be managed for the benefit of wildlife and to provide an attractive area for local residents to visit.

“If the application is successful, planning permission for the houses will be conditional upon the funds being made available for the construction of a new community centre.”

Residents can view the proposals at a public consultation exercise at Gregson Lane Community Centre on September 20 and September 21 between 5pm and 8pm.

Leaflets have been distributed to residents of Gregson Lane and Coupe Green outlining the plans and asking for their opinion on them.