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Monday, 29 August 2011 (3018115)
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by David Simister

COUNCILLORS in West Lancashire are set to approve plans to demolish an historic Hesketh Bank pub at a meeting being held tomorrow (September 1).

Members of West Lancashire Borough Council's planning committee are expected to approve proposals to knock down The Becconsall Hotel, which has been closed since 2009, and replace it with a new residential development comprising around 35 new homes for the village.

A report written by the borough council's planning department on the site reads:

“The existing building on the site is dated and if it were to be retained would need significant modernisation. It is of no historical significance within Pinfold Conservation Area nor has any architectural merit. Due to its form and condition

it cannot be said to positively contribute to the character of the locality or wider Conservation Area, which includes a number of historic and listed buildings.

”The proposed replacement building will result in a visual improvement, as such I consider that the demolition of the existing building is acceptable.“

The decision, if approved, will signal the end of a long-running campaign to save the pub, which has been backed by village residents and the Southport and Ormskirk District branch of CAMRA.

However Una McBride of the Save The Bec campaign said that although it was unlikely that the building would be retained, she was pleased that the group had been able to positively influence the new development.

”Sadly, even though The Bec is now in such a state of disrepair, it looks a sad mess and is too costly to save, at least we each know we have done everything we could to try to Save The Bec! It will be a sad day when the bulldozers arrive, but things have run their course. Well done to you all for playing your part to try to Save The Bec and our village history.

“Please remember, that as a community, we did try very hard and we have pulled a significant Rabbit out of the Hat as a result of our intervention, by positively influencing the developer's plans.”

The meeting will be held at the borough council's headquarters in Ormskirk from 7.30pm.


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