DEVELOPERS have revived controversial plans to build retirement flats in Ramsbottom.

Astim Ltd wanted to build 24 apartments on a former bowling green behind the Grant Arms in Market Place, but Bury planning committee ruled it was inappropriate for a conservation area and had insufficient parking arrangements.

Some of the 59 people who formally objected to the proposal expressed concerns that the building would "have more in common with the beach front in Benidorm or Magaluf" than with the historic buildings around Market Place.

Now, the firm has tabled a second application, with a different design and 19 parking spots compared with 13 in the original proposal.

A report from Astim to the council said: "The layout has evolved over numerous months of discussions and meetings with Bury Council planning officers.

"A retirement-type flatted arrangement was looked upon more favourably.

"The layout allows for clear and easy access to the front doors via the parking courtyard and also off the main car park.

"The design has taken in a simplistic appearance from the front to be sympathetic to that of Ramsbottom Civic Hall, being flat in the facade."

Doors and windows would like those in surrounding buildings, the report said.

John Ireland, from Ramsbottom Heritage Society, said: "The plan is an improvement on the first submission, but we still have problems with it.

"The report mentions that meetings have been held with the council to address issues that the planning committee had, but it is lacking detail, for example, about the materials that would be used in the construction of the building."

He added that the society was due to meet today to discuss its position on the application.

Ramsbottom resident David Kay, who used to bowl on the green before it closed, said: "If the scheme does go ahead, it would be good if money could be set aside for leisure provision elsewhere in Ramsbottom."

The council has written to 165 neighbours with details of the proposal and they have until July 4 to contact the council with their views.

Three people have formally objected so far.

The council is aiming to reach a decision by September 10.