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Battle of the Boars Head pub at Barton resumes over plans for flats and homes

Posted on - 7th June, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Broughton, Business, Housing, Politics, Preston News, Preston weather, Redevelopment
Fire damage can be seen to the Boars Head Pic: Nigel Trundle
Fire damage can be seen to the Boars Head Pic: Nigel Trundle

A former pub on the A6 at Barton is to go have its fate decided by councillors once more.

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The troubled Boars Head in Garstang Road has been the subject of numerous planning battles in recent years.

Barton NWL Properties Ltd have applied with two separate planning applications for the land – both of which have been called-in to be heard by the Preston City Council planning committee by Conservative group leader councillor Sue Whittam.

One application is for the demolition of part of the former pub to make way for two new homes and to convert the pub itself into two flats.

A second application is for up to eight new homes on the land off Garstang Road around the pub.

In July last year a fire on the site of the Boars Head left it severely fire-damaged.

Three previous attempts to demolish the Boars Head, and build new homes, since 2016, have been withdrawn by developers before reaching the planning committee stage.

Barton Parish Council have objected to the scheme saying the village ‘is not a sustainable location’ and the loss of the car park would affect the nearby church.

77 letters of objection against the Boars Head scheme for the eight new homes have been received from residents in and around Barton.

Lancashire County Council’s highways department have stated they object to the eight new homes – as the car park area and road network is not set up for the additional homes.

Wyre and Preston North MP, Ben Wallace, has objected to the application for the pub to be converted into flats and two new homes built on where some of the pub will be demolished.

Mr Wallace points out to the city council that the site is not allocated in the local plan and an emerging neighbourhood plan for Barton proposes the Boars Head site be protected as one green space.

15 further objections were received to the second Boars Head application about its conversion to flats.

Read more: Campaign launches to block Harris Park homes plan

The city council’s planning department has recommended both of the Boars Head schemes for approval.

They write, about the plans to convert the former pub into flats: “The principle of residential development within the village of Barton is acceptable and, following amendments to the scheme, would not result in any unacceptable impacts upon highways safety, visual or resedential amenity.

“No harm has been identified to the setting of designated or undesignated heritage assets, nor would the proposed works to the Boars Head Inn cause harm to a non-designated heritage asset.”

A long-standing campaign has called for the Boars Head to be sold to the community of Barton and run as a community pub – but developers have refused to sell, maintaing the land is better used for housing.

Community gathers to show their support for the Boars Head
Community gathers to show their support for the Boars Head in 2017

The pub is listed as a ‘community asset’ by the city council, a decision made in January 2017 but this was reversed as the building fell into disrepair.

Read more: New homes and Lidl plan for former Vernon Carus mill site

Councillors are due to meet on Thursday (June 11) via Skype or Zoom to consider both the planning applications.

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