PLANS to demolish an historic social club in Seaforth to make way for flats have been unexpectedly rejected by Sefton Council.
The local authority had looked set to approve proposals to demolish The Lathom building and replace it with flats, but the plans were rejected at a Planning Committee meeting last week over fears it would lead to an increase in pollution.
The reason given was due to high pollution levels in the area and the impact this development would have on the air quality of the residents.
The historic venue, which was built in 1884, overlooks the busy Princess Way as it leads up to the docks. Previous studies show it is one of the worst areas for pollution in Merseyside.
A report published by the council states: “The location of the proposed flats would expose future residents to poor air quality. Although pollution levels are just below national standards at present it is likely that they would still have a negative impact on the health of residents, particularly those with underlying health issues.
“It is anticipated that the growth of vehicular traffic on Princess Way would further deteriorate local air quality.
“As mechanical ventilation would be required to the whole building this would inhibit the ability of future residents to fully open windows resulting in unsatisfactory living conditions.”
The plans had brought opposition rom people who argued that the venue is of historical importance and the Champion has previously reported how The Lathom hosted early performances from The Beatles in 1960-61, who were then known as The Silver Beetles.
The building owner, Brian Corrigan, will have the option to appeal the council’s decision.
Although campaigning residents welcomed the council’s decision, they believe the high pollution levels in Seaforth needs urgent attention.
Local resident Liz Moran told the Champion: “We were so relieved to see this decision but how can we celebrate being the most polluted area in Sefton?
“Princess Way is destroying Seaforth and our health is being ignored.
“Seaforth has been neglected for years compared to other areas of Sefton. There used to be a beach and it was a beautiful area in which to live.
“But now we have the docks and the constant traffic..”