A FORMER pub in Stacksteads could become part of a shops and housing complex if developers get their way.

Supporters of proposals to overhaul the former Commercial Hotel and two adjoining properties say the solution is the only way forward for the building, which is located in Newchurch Road.

Empty since the pub finally closed its doors in January 2010, the new owners blamed competition for The Commercial's gradual demise.

Architect Martin Hill said: “The property is located approx within 100 metres of the Rose & Bowl and 450 metres from the The Hare & Hounds public house.

And all those are located on Newchurch Road.

“Its close proximity to these businesses, with their strong competition, was the main reason for its failure.”

Estate agents have marketed the site for 17 months, planners have been told.

But no-one has been prepared to meet the £225,000 asking price.

And even when the price of the building was later reduced, there was still no interest.

Under the new proposals four shops would be created at ground floor level with the same number of flats above the devlopment.