Council officials recommend demolition of Formby Hall

Campaigners say they have just seven days left to save Formby Hall
Campaigners say they have just seven days left to save Formby Hall

TOWN hall chiefs have given the green light to a proposal to bulldoze Formby Hall in Atherton.

Campaigners say they now have just seven days left to save the much-loved community hub from demolition.

Chris Green MP

Chris Green MP

Officers have recommended the town hall’s planning committee gives the green light to a proposal to bulldoze Formby Hall in Atherton when it meets next Tuesday.

The threat of the building being flattened has already sparked massive protests in the community and the latest development in the long-running saga over the venue’s future has also caused fury.

Now campaigners say their last hope for the survival of the building is an application made by Bolton West MP Chris Green to have the demolition decision called in for consideration by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) minister Greg Clark.

Mr Green said: “It is extremely disappointing to hear that Wigan Council have recommended that Formby Hall be demolished.

“There is now just a week left to save Formby Hall and I am urging absolutely everyone, whether you’ve been there to watch a play, attend a charity event or even to donate blood, to get behind our much-loved community hub.

“We need to show the council just how important Formby Hall is to us so please contact your councillors and attend the planning committee next Tuesday. We cannot allow Wigan Council to let our hall be torn down.”

Stuart Gerrard, chair of Atherton Residents’ Association which is campaigning against the hall’s demolition, said: “We thought the council would see sense and realise the electorate don’t want it to go.”

However, Wigan Council has confirmed it is likely the plan, submitted by the building’s owner the Formby Hall Investments (FHI) group, to flatten the Alder Street hall will go through.

Karl Battersby, Wigan Council director for economy and environment, said: “While we understand the concern locally about the application to demolish Formby Hall it is important that people understand that the council has no powers to stop the demolition of a non-listed building if the application criteria is fulfilled.

“The council’s planning committee cannot consider whether the building should or should not be demolished.”