THE owners of a vacant residential home in Rising Bridge have been granted a further three years to develop the site.

Mrs S Mason was given planning permission to turn the dwelling, in Rising Bridge Road, into an old people’s, or children’s home, by the Planning Inspectorate in June 2010, after appealing against Rossendale Council’s initial decision to refuse such a move.

The site has remained unoccupied since, and that initial permission is due to expire in June. The council’s development control committee agreed to give the owner three more years to act after hearing from planning agent Stephen Hartley that she is trying to sell the building. He said: “The sooner the building is back in use the better. The owners are now very serious about doing that.”

Coun Granville Morris, who voted against allowing the extended period, said: “The locality is being spoilt by the building. There has been no maintenance, and it leads to the degradation of the area.”