Campaign launched to save historic pub from risk of demolition

Opposition is mounting to a proposal to flatten an historic pub and build flats in its place.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 3:46 pm

Opposition is mounting to a proposal to flatten an historic pub and build flats in its place.

Proposals have been made to redevelop land currently occupied by The Stork Inn in Billinge, a pub which dates back to the 17th century.

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Red ribbons, part of the Save Our Stork campaign

If approved, new plans will see the pub demolished and the vacant land be used to build 26 apartments.

The Main Street premises closed its doors in 2019 and its owners say there is “no prospect” of it reopening, and developers say that it has fallen into a state of disrepair in the two years since

A planning statement submitted by JDA Architects said: “The proposed development will meet an identified affordable housing need, whilst at the same time providing both a physical and aesthetic benefit to the site and its surrounding context.”

Upset locals have voiced their concern about the potential loss of an historic building. “Save Our Stork”, a campaign launched by local councillors, has seen red ribbons appear on lampposts and fences in the area to help raise awareness of the situation.

The Stork Inn

Councillor Sue Murphy, who represents the Billinge and Seneley Green ward, launched the campaign alongside councillors Dennis McDonnell and Joe Pearson. Coun Murphy said the trio would be doing “all we possibly can to help prevent the demolition of a building of such significant historical relevance”, adding that the town hall’s leader David Baines had also pledged his support for the Save Our Stork campaign.

On its social media page, neighbourhood site The Billinge Blog said: “Whilst many will likely support this development, I think it is unacceptable to see a building of such historic significance demolished and replaced with a building on a far larger scale that is not in keeping with the buildings making up the historic heart of the Village.

“I am not against a redevelopment that adds affordable 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. These apartments however must enable local people to get on the property ladder and not end up as rental properties, which primarily benefit the landlords.”

Developers hope to submit a planning application to St Helens Council sometime this Spring. More details can be found at grimsterplanning.co.uk/pre-application-consultation/stork-inn-billinge.

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