Preston football pub saga faces final whistle after community centre gets the boot

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The saga of the Sumners pub will be back before Preston Council next week for a "final" vote on controversial plans for two apartment blocks.

And if planning officers get their way, a scheme for 90 flats will get the nod almost five years after one of the city's best-loved alehouses pulled its last pint.

Revised plans for the site will go before the planning committee on Thursday, with members being advised to approve it once and for all.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But objectors, who have long since accepted the loss of Preston's favourite football boozer to the bulldozers, are still unhappy that a community centre on the original plans has since vanished into thin air.

The much-loved Sumners pub closed in 2018.The much-loved Sumners pub closed in 2018.
The much-loved Sumners pub closed in 2018.
Read More
Mystery as community centre vanishes from plans to replace Preston’s iconic foot...

Amongst concerns raised in eight letters of objection was one which branded the loss of a community centre and two retail units as "unacceptable." Council officers say that is not a planning matter and have therefore disregarded it. Other worries raised by neighbours - including the impact of extra traffic on highway capacity and safety and insufficient parking - were all taken into consideration before the project was recommended for approval.

One planning condition is that the council can revisit the scheme once built to determine whether developers should pay a contribution for affordable housing which they claim, on present figures, would make the flats unviable.

The Sumners opened in 1985 and closed in 2018. While it was a busy pub on matchdays, it suffered from a drop in trade during the rest of the week.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Demolition of the Sumners was approved in October 2018.Demolition of the Sumners was approved in October 2018.
Demolition of the Sumners was approved in October 2018.

Original plans put in were for two blocks totalling 75 flats, with a two-storey community centre. That plan was withdrawn in June 2019 and replaced with a scheme for 77 flats in two blocks with a community centre and two retail units on the ground floor. The council approved that scheme in May 2020.

Then a new design was submitted in June 2022 for 90 apartments, but the community centre and shops had mysteriously disappeared. The developer said the reason was "the occupier has found an alternative location in Fulwood."

In the past months those plans have been amended again to address concerns raised by both the county highways authority and local flood authority. Now the scheme is seen as acceptable by planning officers and councillors will be asked to give their approval next Thursday.

Related topics: