Homes plan for historic Wigan pub’s former beer garden

Popular green space to the side of The Old Springs pub in Kitt Green has been sold and housing is now planned

Friday, 25th June 2021, 3:09 pm
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 3:10 pm
People enjoying a music festival in the former beer garden of The Old Springs

Houses and flats may be built on the site of an historic Wigan pub’s former beer garden.

Ale lovers used to quaff pints in the field to the side of The Old Springs pub on Spring Road in Kitt Green.

But the popular green space - which was host to many charity events in the past and in an earlier life was a bowling green - has been has been sold and housing is now planned after an application was submitted to Wigan Council.

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If approved, the development next door to the massive Heinz factory would see six semi-detached homes and eight one-bedroom apartments constructed on the land.

Gardens and communal open space would also form part of the plans, along with 20 car parking spaces, bin and cycle stores.

Details of the application are scarce as no documents are available on the local authority’s planning portal.

The pub was taken over by Hawthorn Leisure at the beginning of last year and set about making changes including the removal of Sky Sports, saying that it wanted customers who enjoyed live televised sport to watch at its other pub nearby - the Kitt Green Tavern.

But soon afterwards Covid struck and the hostelry was shut all the way through to the spring of this year when the new licensee was finally able to welcome customers.

Ironically, with Covid guidelines insisting on outdoor drinking, the by then lost beer garden could never more have been in use, but its tables have now been moved onto the apron and small car park at the front and other side of the pub.

However the pub says it now hopes to open a new beer garden behind on waste land that it still owns.

On its Facebook page, the pub said: “The field isn’t ours, it’s been sold and houses and flats are being built on it. The bowling green has been sold and the waste land will eventually be our new beer garden. At the moment though until its renovated the beer garden will be the main carpark.”

The pub also made changes to the inside, giving it a bit of a revamp before opening on May 17 when pubs were allowed to re-open indoors. Currently it is showing Euro 2020 football matches as shown by the BBC and ITV, complete with the flags of each country in the tournament around the bar area.

The Old Springs is one of Wigan’s watering holes. Dating back to at least the mid-19th century, it was the local for music hall legend George Formby Snr who lived on a farm where the Heinz factory now sits, and hosted inquests in Victorian times.

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