A FRESH bid is set to be made to build new homes on a former pub bowling green in an historic village centre in Rossendale.

Housing developers have been knocked back before while trying to redevelop the disused green behind the Boars Head in Newchurch.

Would-be builders have been told by councillors that the loss of an open space, used regularly by the local community, was unacceptable.

But bosses at Crystal Holdings have insisted that the green has not been in active use since they acquired the site in September 2010.

Planning agent Justin O’Brien said: “The bowling green in question was a private green used in connection with the Boars Head pub.

“The pub was closed for a period in 2010. At that time, the bowling green also ceased being used as such and was left untended.

“The pub has since re-opened under a new lease, although this does not include the bowling green which remains private land, and is not in active use.”

The homes would be in the shadow of the grade II* listed St Nicholas Church, on the other side of Church Lane, erected in 1826.

Mr O’Brien said that the development would also provide a five-space car park for churchgoers at St Nicholas.

Councillors have also previously been concerned by the access arrangements for the location, believing that there would poor visibility for traffic leaving and arriving at the proposed homes.

Another worry was the potential loss of privacy for certain garden areas in nearby Bolton Street and Church Street.

Supporters of the housing scheme say that a proposed access road, at 5.5 metres wide, conforms with county council highways design guidance, and there would be no overlooking for neighbours from the four-bedroom properties.