Broughton's empty Toll Bar Cottage could become a community hub for the village

Pat Hastings, chairman of Broughton in Amounderness Parish Council outside the Toll House
Pat Hastings, chairman of Broughton in Amounderness Parish Council outside the Toll House
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A derelict building in Broughton which is in danger of becoming a target for antisocial behaviour could see a new lease of life.

The parish council, which is behind plans, hope that the Toll Bar Cottage will become a vibrant village hub if they get the go-ahead to transform it into a community cafe.

Proposals for the cottage in Garstang Road have been sent to town planners at Preston City Council for approval.

Outlining the vision for refurbishing the building Pat Hastings, chairman of Broughton Parish Council, said: “We wanted to preserve the heritage building. We want a new community hub and cafe.

“We want cycle racks so that people on the Guild Wheel will be able to have breaks.

“It’s got two magnificent conifers so we’re hoping to make one into a permanent Christmas tree.

“We are now waiting for the result from planning. We want to use as many local contractors as we can.

“It’s going to take a lot of coordination. We hope to get it going properly by the summer.

“The neighbours really like the idea that it’s not being knocked down and that we’re doing something with it.

“People can come in and have a brew and a chat. There will be police drop in surgeries, health promotion and decent Internet. It’s all about getting it going.”

Planning documents put together by architects MgMaStudio state: “The project aims to refurbish a key building in the village centre, with a complementary extension to facilitate the new use.

"The visual impact of the project in the village will be entirely positive.

“Creating public spaces, both internally and externally, will provide the ‘life’ this area of the village is currently lacking.”

The application sent to Preston’s planners outlines how to cottage is Broughton could be altered and refurbished, see a ground floor side extension built in order to create a new cafe and meeting place.

According to plans there would be outside seating and play areas developed.

Planning documents also say: “The site is currently vacant and may become a target for litter and antisocial behaviour.

“The internal condition is dilapidated and in need of modernisation in order to make the space fit for either the existing use or potential new uses.”