Lostock Hall micropub is about to get bigger

A micropub in South Ribble is set to expand after being given permission to knock through into a neighbouring property.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 3:26 am
Updated Saturday, 18th September 2021, 3:28 am

Lostock Ale – on Hope Terrace in Lostock Hall – opened in early 2020, just weeks before the onset of the pandemic.

In spite of several lockdown-enforced closures since, a meeting of South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee heard that the business has thrived.

Landlord Raymond McLaughlin said that the venture had also fulfilled his initial vision to attract punters who might shun the traditional pub environment.

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Ray McLaughlin is ready to expand his micropub, less than two years after it opened

“It’s brought communities together and brought people out who wouldn’t normally come out – so much so that it has outgrown itself in such a short period of time.

“There are occasions because of limited capacity where I’m having to turn people away, so [because of] demand I’ve [taken] on an [extra] property – and that’s just for seating.

“It’s an open book in terms of how Lostock Ale is going to benefit the community – not just [as a] drinking establishment, but for other occasions and events that the additional premises will lend itself to,” said Mr. McLaughlin, who told councillors that venue was already being used by community and charity groups.

The committee unanimously approved his application to expand into a vacant unit next door, which was most recently occupied by a charity shop.

The presence of a flat above the proposed new part of the pub led to a condition being imposed requiring work to insulate that property from sound emanating from the venue. The measures must be agreed in advance and then tested after installation to ensure the required level of protection has been achieved.

In making their decision, committee members heaped praise on the business – and the man running it.

Cllr Colin Sharples said: “I really do applaud you – the community aspect [of the pub] I think is fantastic.

“These places – people go in of a daytime, they have a coffee [and] elderly people can get together and have a natter. I am really fond of the idea of these micropubs doing what you’re doing.”

Committee chair Caleb Tomlinson added: “I take my hat off to you.”

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