Croston pub demolition bid delayed amid plans to build new Co-op convenience store

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Plans to demolish a Chorley village pub and replace it with a convenience store have been put on hold - at least for now.

Chorley Council’s planning committee had been due to consider an application to flatten The Crown, in Croston, and build a new Co-op - but the item was withdrawn from the agenda of the meeting at which it was to be discussed.

The Lancashire Post understands that the last-minute change was the result of a late consultation response being received.

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The Station Road venue closed earlier in the pandemic and, if planning permission is ultimately granted, a new shop and cafe will be built in its place.

The Crown in Croston fell silent earlier in the pandemic (image: Google)The Crown in Croston fell silent earlier in the pandemic (image: Google)
The Crown in Croston fell silent earlier in the pandemic (image: Google)

A report that would have been presented to committee members revealed that five objections had been received to the proposal, with concerns ranging from potential noise and light pollution to its impact on traffic and parking on the narrow road.

An earlier version of the scheme had generated highway-related fears from Lancashire County Council roads officials. They had said parking restrictions would be required in the vicinity of the development, in order to allow safe vehicular access to it.

An increase in the 30 on-site spaces proposed was also requested for use by those residents who would lose their “off-street” facilities under the new arrangement. County Hall did not respond to revised plans.

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A retail assessment submitted with the application concluded that the proposed store would not “significantly impact” on any existing facilities in the Croston village centre, which was described as being “in a very good state of health and…demonstrated to be vital and viable”.

In seeking to justify the loss of the pub as a community facility - albeit one that is long closed - the applicant said that there were 28 alternative hostelries located within a 10-minute drive and five within a 10-minute walk.

The Crown was said to have offered “a limited, basic food offering and good selection of drinks”, but had found it difficult to survive in its rural location.

The committee report stated: “Trade suffered during the pandemic, specifically with lockdowns, but also hesitancy for people to return, meaning the business closed and could not be re-opened.”

No interest had been generated when the pub was subsequently marketed.

The Co-op’s application will now be brought to the committee for consideration at a later date.