WORK is underway to restore the Grade II-listed coal drops in Penistone - and they could soon be made into retail units.

Plans have been approved previously to build more than a dozen houses on the site, but the firm in charge, Fairbank investments, say this may no longer be the case.

They have recently completed the purchase of the site.

A spokesperson for its sister company, Fairfield Business Park, said: “We are aware of the previous planning permissions that were granted, consisting of housing on the remainder of the site but we are keen to explore better suited developments for the area and look to work with the neighbouring landowners to deliver a better solution such as potential commercial and trade retail alternatives.”

Coun Hannah Kitching, leader of the Lib Dems in Barnsley, is encouraging residents to put forward their own plans for the ‘iconic’ site.

She said: “I think everyone is in agreement that it’s the last bit on the entrance to Penistone that is is need of some regeneration.

“It’s now become quite overgrown and derelict.

“There’s always the chance to grow Penistone and it’s really interesting - I’d encoruage the community to put forward their plans.”