RAWTENSTALL bus station could be bulldozed to make way for a supermarket.

The Lidl chain has submitted a planning application to build a new supermarket on part of the site of the bus station off Bacup Road.

And councillors believe that losing the current "eyesore" bus station would force the hand of the county council to build a new facility.

County councillor Bob Wilkinson told a meeting of the Lancashire Local Rossendale committee that the existing bus station was 'an eyesore', no matter which direction it was viewed from.

"The complete site, from the bus station to the garages, needs to be redeveloped," he said.

"I think that the bus-travelling service deserve it".

One member of the public at the meeting criticised the Lidl bid and claimed that the town, already home to relatively new Asda and Tesco stores, was oversubscribed with supermarkets.

But referring to a possible link between investment in a new bus station and redevelopment, Coun Wilkinson added: "One may depend on the other and the district council will have that decision to make."

He also dismissed rumours that funding for any new Rawtenstall bus station had been withdrawn from the county council's budget - but warned against delaying proposals for any replacement depot.

County council leader and Rossendale North ward member Coun Hazel Harding said: "We are unlikely to be building many more bus stations so we need to get in there fairly quickly."

A Lidl spokesman confirmed that a planning application had been lodged.

He added: "The proposed site will be ideally situated to serve the needs of residents living in and around Rawtenstall."

Lidl will stage a public exhibition on its proposals at Longholme Methodist Church this Friday from noon until 4pm.