Plans have gone in to tear down a £1 million farm shop which closed suddenly five years ago and replace it with eight houses.

Roaming Roosters farm shop in Barrowford Road, Higham, closed without explanation in July 2018, having first opened in 2012.

It contained a farm shop selling fresh, free-range produce and also had a café and bistro attached, and had planned to carry out a £1m expansion in 2017 creating a children’s indoor play area and 20 new jobs, but this never materialised.

The site was owned by Nelson businessman Matthew Riley, who featured as a judge on BBC’s The Apprentice, but in 2020 went on the market for £995,000.

It had been touted for use by a new owner as a farm shop, wedding venue, or other business use, but now the current landowner plans to convert the site into housing.

Lancashire Telegraph: How the old Roaming Roosters site could look if housing is approvedHow the old Roaming Roosters site could look if housing is approved (Image: Pendle Council)

Charlie McDermott, who is based on the multi-million pound Brunswick Gardens in Kensington, has submitted plans to tear down the farm shop and construct eight new homes on the brownfield site.

In the plans, it states the site “is not deemed to be viable under its most recent designation” as business use, and changing it to housing would address needs for “high quality housing in the area”.

The proposed designs of the new homes are “inspired by cottages in nearby Higham and Fence”, and would each be four-bedroom detached houses, with ample off-street parking and good-sized gardens.

Six of the eight homes would comprise of an open-plan kitchen, living and dining area, plus an additional lounge, study, toilet and utility room on the ground floor, with four double bedrooms – one with an en-suite – and a family bathroom on the first floor.

The remaining two would be almost identical, just without the additional lounge.

Driveways for four vehicles plus cycle parking will be included with each home, if approved, and communal visitor spaces would also be included.

Lancashire Telegraph: Matthew Riley, of Daisy Group, used to own the siteMatthew Riley, of Daisy Group, used to own the site

Dedicated cycle and walking routes to nearby villages would reduce the need for personal vehicle travel, the plans state, and also add that public transport links are nearby.

It adds local and sustainably sourced materials will be used in the builds, and the developer is considering installing renewable energy technology in the houses, such as air source heat pump systems.

The application documents add: “Following in-depth analysis, it can be concluded a housing development would be an appropriate solution for the development of this disused site.

“Such a proposal could be considered to make a larger contribution to enhance the overall setting than as currently exists.

“The site presents the opportunity to create a high quality and desirable living environment and to maximise the use of a neglected site.”

Those who wish to comment on the plans can do so by contacting Pendle Council before May 25.