FLATS are planned for a historic former pub which has been plagued by anti-social behaviour since it shut.

The Marsden Cross Inn, in Brierfield, which dates back to the 1800s, has lain empty for several years despite attempts to develop it.

During this time, the building has been subject to fire damage and vandalism, and has become increasingly derelict with scaffolding around it.

Now outline plans have been submitted by Reedley Properties Ltd to convert the pub into ten one-bedroom flats.

The development would also see two new buildings built at the back of the pub which would house 12 two-bedroom flats.

Speaking on behalf of applicant Reedley, agent David Somner of Avalon Town Planning Ltd, said the plans would help secure the future of the building.

He said: "We've made the case for these plans and we think every effort is being made to save this quite historic building.

"It's been empty for eight years and has been subject to fire damage and a roof collapse.

"This is a great scheme that will help save this building and provide much needed housing."

Cllr Naeem Hussain Ashraf, who represents the area on Pendle Council, said the building had been a 'total nightmare' for residents for several years.

He said: "Any sort of work on it would be fantastic as it's been left to go derelict in recent years.

"The building has attracted a lot of anti-social behaviour and you've had children playing in it and drinking."

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, leader of Pendle Council, also welcomed the scheme.

He said: "It's an iconic building in Brierfield and a very imposing one that's been left to rot for too long.

"I think housing works well in the area and there's a definite need for more of that."

The pub, in Higher Reedley Road, was forced to shut back in 2011, with its owners at the time saying that high rent and beer prices meant it was no longer viable and could make no money.

It was the second time the pub had closed after it shut the previous year, but was then reopened under the stewardship of a new landlord.

There were attempts to reopen it but they have never materialised