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Croston pub to be knocked down for Co-op and café plan despite traffic fears

Posted on - 23rd May, 2024 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Chorley locations, Chorley News, Croston, Pubs
The Crown, Station Road, Croston
The Crown, Station Road, Croston

An empty Croston pub will be knocked down to make way for a Co-op shop despite concerns from residents over safety issues along the road.

Councillors this week approved plans which will see the Crown pub on Station Road turned into a convenience store and café. The inn dates back to the mid-1800s but has been empty since 2021.

The shop and cafe will be built in its place along with a car park suitable for 30 vehicles. A decision had been due one month earlier but the planning committee agreed to defer until they could visit the site.

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After that took place on May 16, the issue was brought back before the committee on Tuesday where two residents spoke against the proposal.

Melanie Christie warned that Station Road was already unsafe due to cars speeding down the narrow street. She said that two recent accidents had left four vehicles damaged and “pedestrians and passengers mere inches away from potential tragedy”.

Urging that safety measures must be included as conditions if the plans are approved, she added: “This isn’t a mere inconvenience, it is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode into tragedy.”

Katarzyna McMaster, the planning agent speaking in favour of the application, said measures including a wider pavement, waiting restrictions and new bus stop were proposed to minimise disruption. She said the plans would create an “attractive and friendly environment for people to spend time and socialise”. 

Ms McMaster said since the pub closed, its land has become overgrown and underused and no longer served its purpose, while the number of nearby pubs meant the area was still well served.

Calling for the application to be refused, Cllr Alan Whittaker echoed the road safety fears and argued the development was not needed.

Cllr Alastair Morwood said the pub was now dilapidated and that the development would enhance the area. He agreed with traffic concerns but argued that was not a planning issue and instead one which needed to be solved in other ways.

He said: “The road at the moment is abominable and I cannot believe that in all the years that’s happened, and it’s been happening for years, that something has not been done. 

“Now I don’t know if the residents and the parish council and county council have got together and tried to solve the problem but it is shocking. Do I think this particular development is going to make it even worse? No I don’t. 

“At least they can go to this development and park off Station Road. There will be restrictions on parking in front which will help. Something needs to be done with this road, not the development. That is a job for LCC and others. I’m amazed it’s gone on for so long.”

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