Weld Blundell Pub bites the dust in Lydiate?

It’s a year ago that I blogged about 3 pubs along a mile of road in Litherland/Netherton closing and now news reaches me of the seeming demise of the Weld Blundell Pub next to Lydiate’s Village Green.

The Weld Blundell in happier times - 2008

The Weld Blundell in happier times – 2008

I don’t know what the issues are with the Welly, so you never know it may reopen but it looks rather sad at present all boarded up .

My posting of March last year on closing pubs is available via this link:-
tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/03/26/closing-pubs-a-mile-of-road-in-litherlandnetherton-sums-up-the-difficulties-for-pubs/

Let’s hope the Welly does open again soon.

British pubs dying out and its no different in Sefton Borough

Residential developers are targeting pubs to convert into homes, as many struggle to make ends meet. The Guardian newspaper cites figures from the Campaign for Real Ale, which show that 29 UK pubs a week are shutting down, double 2011’s rate. Around a third of the 1,722 pubs which shut last year were in London and the South East – highlighting the sheer demand for homes within the region.

Former Cabbage Inn - closed

Former Cabbage Inn – closed

This is a subject I have been following at a local level for some time now and yes our pubs are in crisis in Sefton Borough just like other places. Here’s a links to my previous postings on this subject:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/07/18/saving-pubs-at-risk-of-closure/

One thing that is rarely mentioned is that often these struggling and closing pubs are of real architectural merit and are landmarks in their community. Better that they find a new sustainable use than that they are demolished to be replaced with nondescript modern buildings.

STOP PRESS

Just as I was about to publish this posting I picked up on this:-

Pubs offered lifeline

Pubs considered important by local communities will no longer be converted by developers without planning permission under new legislation proposed by the government who say that over 600 pubs have been nominated as assets of community value so far. If memory serves the closed Priory Pub in Litherland is one of the 600.

The Daily Telegraph and Guardian covered this recently.

With thanks to the LGiU for some of the information in this posting.

Saving pubs at risk of closure – Priory, Aintree & Cabbage – All in Bootle

CAMRA and the Local Government Information Unit recently collaborated on a report that found 28 UK pubs are closing every week. Public Houses: how councils and governments can save pubs also found that, since January 2012, at least 208 have been converted into supermarkets. CAMRA/LGiU cite the ease by which, under the Town and Country Planning Act (1995), drinking establishments can be converted into retail outlets without the approval of the local planning authority. While noting that “there is no magic bullet” to saving pubs, the report found that article 4 of the 1995 act, putting “change of use” of a building under the control of the local authority, has been used with some success, as has the Localism Act (2011), which enables communities to designate public houses as assets of community value.

Campaigners outside the Priory Pub trying to save it.

Campaigners outside the Priory Pub trying to save it.

This briefing from the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) popped up only a couple of days after Sefton Council’s Planning Committee had dealt with and indeed rejected unanimously a planning application to build flats on the site of the Priory Pub in Litherland.

I have posted about the campaign to save this pub before at:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/01/25/the-priory-litherland-another-local-pub-has-gone/

and at:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/05/15/aintree-pub-reused-for-a-different-business-purpose/

The Planning Officers wanted the Planning Committee to agree to the application to build flats on the site but the answer from the Committee was a very clear NO! But why was that? Well it comes down to the kind of issues being put forward by CAMRA and the LGiU and the fact that we on the Planning Committee felt it was right to give a higher priority to the separate(ish) but related process that is presently ongoing for the campaigners to try to buy the site and reopen it as a pub.

Time is not on the campaigners side as the owner may decide to demolish the pub anyway. Couple that to the fact that lead and slates have been stripped from part of the roof by thieves and it is clearly a big ask. BUT, we backed the localism agenda against the planning application. Whether this will have a good outcome I don’t know but we have given the opportunity for that to happen I hope.

Cabbage Inn

Cabbage Inn

I mentioned the Aintree Pub in one of my previous postings but of course the Cabbage Inn in Netherton has also bitten the dust in recent times. All 3 pubs are within a couple of miles of each other and there will be others closing as well in Bootle and across the UK.