Blaze-hit Preston pub set to rise from the ashes

A fire-ravaged pub, which has survived two demolition attempts, could be given a new lease of life.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 7:36 am

Plans have gone in to restore part of the former Boar’s Head in Barton as flats after the owners conceded there is no longer any chance of knocking it down.

The original part of the pub, which dates back to the 19th century, will be rescued and converted into two apartments. More recent extensions at the side and rear will be removed to make way for two semi-detached houses.

Plans are still in the pipeline for eight more houses on part of the car park at the rear.

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The fire-ravaged Boar's Head will be converted into flats.

Owners Barton NWL Properties Ltd had hoped to clear the entire site for housing after they bought the old pub which closed in September 2016. But their scheme was scuppered when locals pushed for the pub to be declared an “Asset of Community Value” in 2017.

Two applications to Preston Council to bulldoze the building were blocked, despite a serious blaze in July last year which left the property in a charred and precarious state.

Now the company has come back with a revised scheme to keep some of the former eatery and clear the rest.

“Though the current condition of the building has deteriorated to a very poor level, with this having been compounded by the fire last summer, and while it would have been preferable to demolish the building overall, the heritage status granted by the council though has dictated otherwise,” says planning consultant Nigel Robinson in a report supporting the application.

“It will certainly be an expensive operation to pursue and fulfil, externally and internally, all that is required, but the demolition of the side extension will assist in the degree of restoration required.

“Nothing is insurmountable at a cost and the owners should now be wholeheartedly supported in putting forward pro-active development proposals that will restore and remediate the site with the rejuvenation of the original building.”

The side extension bore the brunt of the fire last summer and, under the new plans, that will be flattened.

The pub was shut down by its previous owners, Mitchells Brewery of Lancaster, due to a sharp fall in trade.

In a statement Mitchells said: “The company tried very hard to keep this pub operating. With increasing operating costs, together with a decline in footfall, the Boar’s Head had become an unviable business.”