A ROW of shops in Fearnhead could be bulldozed to make way for housing.

Four retail units on Orchard Street look set to be demolished in order to build six new homes.

CDM Developments has submitted an application for planning permission for the development to Warrington Borough Council.

At present two of the four shops are unoccupied, while the others are home to a hairdressers and dog groomers.

These tenants are believed to be in the process of securing new premises.

But a number of residents have objected to the scheme, while the council’s highways department has also raised concerns.

Planning application documents stated: "The units have struggled to attract tenants for in excess of ten years.

"This largely reflects that the site competes with the well-established Fearnhead Cross shopping centre in very close proximity, which houses numerous shops and has an extremely good local offer.

"Successive attempts to attract new tenants have failed - it has been in excess of five years since more than two units were occupied.

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"Even if all four were occupied, the age of the buildings is such that the rent generated increasingly and consistently fails to cover the upkeep costs of the premises - exacerbated by rates payable on the empty units.

"The reality is that the buildings are at the end of their economic life and, even accounting for significant investment to refurbish them, would not produce a sufficient return or yield to attract even a long-term investor - consequently, they are economically unviable to sustain.

"Inevitably, the decision has been taken to redevelop the site with notice already served on the existing tenants."

Proposals will see the retail units make way for three pairs of semi-detached houses, while plans also include 12 car parking spaces.

If approved, construction work in the area will last for around six months.