Battle on to save community pub
ACAMPAIGN to save a pub has been stepped up after plans were submitted to demolish it for housing.
A group called Friends of The Black Swan in Lower Withington have been battling Cheshire East Council to list it as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ in a bid to safeguard its future.
But now a developer has submitted plans to demolish the popular meeting place on Trap Street and replace it with five homes.
More than 50 people have registered their objection to the scheme via the council’s planning portal in a desperate bid to save it.
Fionnuala Keen, who is spearheading the campaign, said she hoped the level of public interest will put the decision in the hands of councillors at a planning committee rather than solely with officers.
She said: “We have a second opportunity to appeal for the council to have the pub registered as a community asset at the end of July, but the plan- ning application another battle.
“I would urge people against the plans to have their say and try and convince the council to save it for the community.”
In a planning statement the architect Richard Bailey said the applicant, Swan Hotel (Newby Bridge) Limited, bought is the pub in 2012 in the hope of turning around the business, adding: “Despite best efforts, the applicant has unfortunately been unable to make the business economically viable and The Black Swan had been running at a considerable loss.”
The pub closed in April 2016. Objectors to the scheme had their say through the council’s planning portal.
Andrea Barker, of Windsor Place, said: “(The pub) is integral to the village way of life.”
Lucy Edmunds said: “This is a long standing building and business known and loved by many and would be a great loss to the area and the community.”
Lynn Tootell, of Pitt Farm, said it closure would be ‘a huge mistake’, adding: “It is of interest of the local community to get this reopened. The thought of it being demolished and five houses being built is an outrage.”
James Dodd, of Hodgehill Lane, Macclesfield, said: “This pub was a fantastic local asset. There are plenty of properties on the market in the area but fewer places for the community to meet and socialise.”
Campaigners outside the Black Swan in Lower Withington