NEW plans have been drawn up seeking permission to create a restaurant on an "eyesore" unused site near to a village railway station.

Initial proposals for an eatery on land next to Rainhill train station were refused by St Helens Council in March this year due to the "harm" which would be caused to "designated heritage assets".

Rainhill Parish Council and Rainhill Civic Society had raised concerns over the proposed plans for the vacant site off Station Road, which has previously been used for car sales and storage.

In rejecting the original proposals, a planning officer had ruled the restaurant would "detract from the significance of designated heritage assets including Rainhill station, Skew Bridge and Rainhill Conservation area".

The station and bridge are grade II listed structures, due to Rainhill's role in the world’s first inter-city passenger railway, and George Stephenson, engineer of the railway and the Skew Bridge.

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Now a fresh planning application has been submitted by applicant Mr I Mawdsley, and agent Mike Carr, seeking permission for a single-storey restaurant building and five car parking spaces.

The new plans say "the design principles of the proposed building have amended to further reflect the locality, including various historic features, along with the wider design principles set out in this part of the Conservation area".

They add: "Overall, it is also considered that the redevelopment of this part of Rainhill would result in the significant enhancement of a site that has been a local eyesore for many years".

A Heritage Assessment has also been submitted as part of the application.

The assessment states: "The design has been modified from the previous submission to take its lead from the adjoining station, respecting the predominance of the railway in the Station Road street scene.

"The building is appropriate to the location in that it is a low single-storey structure that will not detract from the station and its setting and will not obscure views of it or the Skew Bridge beyond".

It adds: "The proposal aims to put the site to an alternative and sustainable use and thereby make a positive contribution to the local economy".

The new planning application is on public consultation until Monday, September 28.

A determination deadline has been set for October 21.