A MOORLAND village's medieval market cross is set to be moved to avoid further damage from tree roots.

North Turton Parish Council proposes to relocate the heritage-listed monument to the cross-paths in the Chapeltown Memorial Garden in High Street.

The only original part of the cross - its unusual eight-sided sandstone base - is currently unstable owing to the growth of the trees roots.

The remainder of the monument is a modern addition.

The parish council has applied to Blackburn with Darwen Council for planning permission and listed building consent to make the changes.

Supporting statements submitted with the application say: "The market cross at the entrance to the Chapeltown Community Garden is a Grade II listed building that was first listed on January 27, 1967.

"The cross originally was situated outside the Chetham Arms Inn but was relocated in 1845 to Turton Tower.

"In 1933 it was moved by Turton Urban District Council to its present position, a very short distance away from the Chetham Arms, and put at the entrance to the Community Garden.

"All that remains of the medieval cross is its unusual sandstone base.

"Set on a modern stone pedestal, the bottom of the original base is eight-sided which then tapers to a cylinder to hold a wooden cross shaft.

"The tall wooden shaft and metal cap are a modern addition.

"As part of a grant funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, North Turton Parish Council, working together with Edgworth and District Horticultural Society are looking to restore and transform the community garden into a tranquil place for all residents and visitors to regularly use.

"This will include making it more accessible with disability access for all.

"Over the years the cross has been affected by tree roots making it unstable and has caused the shaft to lean towards the rear of the garden.

"North Turton Parish Council are currently in the process of obtaining quotations from specialist companies on the options available.

"The options available are either: "Carefully take down the cross and lift the base stones, lift the setts to the centre of the path and create a solid slab (possibly concrete) and relocate the cross on the concrete then make good the setts around the slab; or "Carefully take down the cross and lift the base stones then reposition at the centre of the cross-paths - this will avoid a repeat of the current damage to it from tree roots and make passage past it more suitable for the disabled.

"With either option the base stones will be cleaned to remove surface debris and moss and the base would then be repointed."