A BUSINESS group is opposing proposals to build a retirement home in Ramsbottom.

Paddle Homes, based in Blackburn, has applied to build a 28-bed retirement home on a grassed area which used to be the bowling green, behind The Grant Arms pub in Market Place.

Proposals for 32 apartments for the elderly on the same patch of land were withdrawn last year.

A member of Ramsbottom Business Group said the plans are very unpopular because the area is ‘the wrong place’ for such a development.

Sara Wilkins, who is also a partner at Eclectic Houseware in Bolton Street, said: “An ambulance would really struggle to get up to the site, if the plans were successful.

“It’s also very close to Ramsbottom Civic Hall, which has noisy events on Saturday nights, and wouldn’t be taken kindly to by the residents of the retirement home.

“The previous designs for the home were also quite ugly, and didn’t fit with the conservation area.”

Derek Barnes, director of Paddle, who is listed as the applicant, had previously pleaded guilty to chopping down 12 mature trees on land adjacent to Ramsbottom Civic Hall in a hearing at Bury Magistrates’ Court.

Mr Barnes was convicted alongside Dominic Barnes as directors of Astim Ltd, which is also based in Blackburn. The company was fined £8,000.

The firm owns the land, but the trees were protected as they were part of the Ramsbottom conservation area, and are designated as protected recreational land in the Bury unitary development plan.

At the time, Bury Council said that if another application was submitted for the site, compensation would have to be paid for the loss of land, or another area for recreation should be created to replace that land.

In a report to the council, Paddle said that the new application had been submitted after months of discussions with the council’s planning department.

The green has not been used since March 2011.