RESIDENTS have urged councillors to rethink their decision to block redevelopment of a dilapidated community space.

This week Barrow Borough Council's planning committee voted unanimously to refuse an application from Hartington Street Methodist Church for permission to build five terraced homes on a plot of land.

The land has been leased to the council for the last 10 years but church bosses said the garden had been neglected and was often full of ‘needles, beer cans, dog muck, half-eaten takeaways and broken beer bottles'.

The church hoped to sell the land with planning permission to fund renovations.

Councillor Ann Thomson, council leader and planning committee member, said at the meeting on Wednesday: “We are surrounded by so many terraced houses in Hindpool and have so little green space.

"I am sure your causes are very worthy but we’ve hardly got any green space and you want to come along and take it away.”

Some 11 objections were submitted from residents decrying the loss of community space but their views aren't backed by all.

Christine Millard said: "I have been a resident of Hindpool for a number of years and live on Hartington Street.

"I would rather have the area built on than leave it in the state it has been left in for years.

"It was meant to be a lovely seating area but it's an area of weeds litter dog muck and needles. It has become embarrassing to live on the street.

"It would be nice to have a seating area but if it's not being maintained it would be better built on."