A DERELICT Runcorn pub that's been empty for five years could be demolished to make way for flats.

The Croft in Halton Lodge Avenue closed in 2014, and has since become a focal point for anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.

But the building's owners, Hindle Property Investments, have now applied for planning permission to turn the pub into 15 assisted living flats.

According to Hindle's application, the new development will "deliver much needed specialist residential accommodation and will regenerate a redundant site which requires investment and renewal within Runcorn".

The possibility of redeveloping the site for assisted living was first raised in 2016 when Halton Council sold its interest in the vacant pub for an undisclosed sum.

A report to the council’s executive board described the pub as "the subject of anti-social behaviour" and "visually unattractive".

However, this is the first planning application brought forward for the site in the three years since it was sold to Hindle.

The application states: "The primary function of the development will be to offer suitable, supported accommodation to people with learning disabilities and enduring mental health problems. 

"Some adults will also have autism and / or physical disabilities."

The flats will be operated by Hilldale Housing Association and social care providers 1st Enable, according to the application.

Along with the 15 flats, there will be accommodation for a carer to be available at all times.

Residents have until October 31 to comment on the plans and the council is due to make a decision by January 8.