Shock at club homes plan

Bill Burrows and members of Pemberton Central Social Club
Bill Burrows and members of Pemberton Central Social Club

CUSTOMERS have vowed to save one of the borough’s last Labour Clubs.

Members at Pemberton Central in Enfield Street were shocked to find a council planning notice taped to a nearby lamppost confirming that town hall chiefs had received a planning application to raze the building to make way for nine terraced homes.

The Liverpool-based owner, pub company and drinks wholesaler BarCellars, had no-one available for comment at the time of going to press.

Supporters remain hopeful the club can win a stay of execution. and point to the fact that BarCellars has stipulated it should not cancel any existing wedding or birthday party bookings, concerts, slimming clubs or sport fixtures.

Pemberton Central manager Bev Splaine said: “It has been a massive shock to everyone. It is a very sad situation and I know that the customers are devastated and trying to do what they can to save the club.

“I know very little apart from the fact at this time that the application has been submitted to the council to decide on. As far as I was concerned I though the club was doing well, I really did.

“The customers are campaigning to try and do something about it and have offered to help BarCellars in whatever way they can so that it doesn’t go down this route.

“We have got a darts team made up of 40-somethings who have been there for 25 years and they are really upset about the situation as you can imagine.

“They say that they are hanging on every announcement and are hoping that some miracle is going to happen and BarCellars have a change of heart.”

Long time member and former official Bill Burrows confirmed they were initially shocked to learn of the planning application. But members were committed to fighting to save this “now very popular” venue.

He has written a letter, co-signed by many other members, asking the owner to re-think.

Mr Burrows said he understood that BarCellars had become frustrated with dealing with complaints made to the council by “a couple” of the club’s neighbours, despite the many improvements it had put in place.

This included a purpose-built smoking shelter away from the bungalows, “noisy” shutters repaired and persuading taxi companies not to use horns in the vicinity when picking up fares. The club has also controlled the volume of noise being emitted from the concert room with the guidance and subsequent approval of the town hall’s environmental health monitors.