Leyland Pub at loggerheads with council over wood burner

Fight: Lee Forshaw from the Withy Arms in Leyland
Fight: Lee Forshaw from the Withy Arms in Leyland
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Bosses at a popular pub are at loggerheads with the council after being told to stop using their log burning fire.

The Withy Arms in Worden Lane, Leyland, is in a smoke free zone and, because the pub’s burners don’t meet the necessary standard, they have to stop using them.

Operations director Lee Forshaw said the council told the venue it needs to have Defra approved appliances that only burn smokeless fuel.

Mr Forshaw said: “I think we are being singled out by the council for some reason, I don’t understand why.

“The customers love it, they love that it is warm and welcoming.

“We’ve not had any complaints from anybody.

“The log fires are part of what makes the Withy Arms so popular.

“The building is in a conservation area. There would have been no gas fires. They were all log burning fires.

“They are kind of conflicting themselves.

“In the meantime I am going to continue to light the fires.

“The council just seems to be attacking a popular pub. If we can’t have one, then every house that has a log fire in South Ribble can’t have one. It’s looking like one rule for one and one rule for another.”

Mr Forshaw said the pub will replace all the fires but, at the moment, they will continue lighting them.

South Ribble Council said it had initially been called over an issue to do with concerns over the storage of waste, but the owner denied this was the case.

Coun Phil Smith, cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, added: “While we were visiting the premises, we noticed smoke coming from a chimney.

“We informed the owner about his responsibilities around the types of stove and fuels he could use, and told him we will continue to monitor the situation to ensure he is complying.

“We take our legal responsibilities to protect the health of the public very seriously. We can take enforcement action if necessary, although we always try to resolve such issues, as we have done in this case, by talking to people first.”