Campaigners who want to stop a pub in a village on the outskirts of Preston from being sold are counting down to a crucial decision on its future.Advertisement
The Boars Head on the A6 at Barton is listed as a ‘community asset’ but developers NWL Properties intend to demolish the 200-year-old pub and build nine houses.
In February this year the protected status was awarded to the pub after 600 residents joined the campaign to ensure its future.
Barton villagers want to buy the pub and operate it as a co-operative, adding a library, post office, cash point and grocery area.
Preston City Council have now received a request to review the Asset of Community Value status.
Chairman of Barton Parish Council John Parker said: “Like thousands of rural communities throughout the UK, our village is being targeted by housing developers to turn a profit. The village does not have the roads, infrastructure or facilities to support yet another housing development. As a rural community we have no facilities.
“We have to travel miles to the nearest public library, post office, cash machine or grocery shop. By buying the Boars Head as a village co-operative, it will allow residents to improve facilities and essential services within the village themselves, as a Parish Council we have been proud to provide guidance and support to Barton Heritage Group, who represent nearly 600 residents.”
Read more: More new homes could be built in Barton
Another twist in the plot with the Boars Head is NWL Properties have notified the city council of their intention to sell the pub – triggering a six month freeze on any deal.
Barton Heritage Group spokeswoman Becca Hewitson said: “For years the previous owners had let the pub run down, but it was still the heart of our community and it made a profit. We need our pub as it’s the centre of village life and part of our heritage.
“It’s where we have celebrated christenings, cried at funeral wakes, held school PTFA and other committee meetings, celebrated our village Rose Queen and gave thanks for the Harvest in Autumn by eating Sunday Lunch together. The pub, its car park and playground are essential for the whole community of Barton.
“What we need is for our local council to stand up for us and to stand by its original decision to keep the Asset of Community Value Status, otherwise what do they really stand for?”
A decision on the review of the community asset is due to be undertaken by the city council’s director of development Chris Hayward.
Read more: Lamb and Packet pub has been sold
He has until Monday 17 April to reach a decision and if he accepts the application from NWL Properties they can move ahead with demolishing the building.
If the pub keeps its community asset status then the developers can apply to an independent tribunal regarding the decision.
What do you think about the pub? Do you live in Barton? Let us know your views in the comments below