HOUSES could be built on the site of the former ‘Idiot Hut’ social club in Oxenhope.

A planning application has been submitted to Bradford Council for five houses with parking spaces, gardens and an access road.

The land off Watson Close in the Lowertown area of the village was for many years home to Oxenhope Social Club.

The volunteer-run club – based in the decaying former Methodist Chapel since 1937 – closed at the beginning of this year due to lack of revenue.

The management committee had made several attempts to increase income in recent years, as well as raise money to carry out much-needed renovations.

Oxenhope parish councillors expressed support for the housing application from Janus Architecture, which said it planned to demolish the existing social club building.

Janus said the site had a low profile within the ‘urban context’, surrounded by garages, homes and a play area.

The new houses would be in a terrace facing east to west, and would not overlook existing houses.

The house would for young families with three bedrooms, one in the roof space. Vehicle access would remain from Watson Close.

The building, officially named Oxenhope Sports and Recreation Club, was dubbed The Idiot Hut in honour of a group of mill workers and farmers who in the 1930s chipped together to purchase the building.

The building began life as a Methodist chapel in Nelson, Lancashire. The ‘Oxnop’ villagers travelled to Nelson via horse and cart and brought the former chapel back piece-by-piece, reconstructing it on its current site in Lowertown, Oxenhope.

Most parts of the original church, such as the partition walls, have since been removed, along with the lectern, which was still on the stage well into the Seventies.

In 2015 the management committee warned that Idiot Hut was reaching the end of its life, and urged more people to use the club so it the committee could afford to build a replacement.

In 2018 a £20,000 appeal was launched to pay for repairs and renovation, but this was the beginning of the end .

The club ceased trading in January after the committee voted at its annual general meeting to sell the building. Just before the closing down party, a man was seen putting glue into the building’s lock.