Historic Leyland pub to become a Chinese takeaway
An historic Leyland pub which closed down last year is set to reopen as a Chinese takeaway.
The Old Original Seven Stars at the junction of Slater Lane and Leyland Lane will undergo the conversion after permission was granted at a meeting of South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee.
The applicant, Li Hua Shi, is proposing to launch “Kimbo Gardens”, a venture which promises to “bring healthy Chinese cuisine to the area”. However, the authority’s approval means that a takeaway of any type is now permitted to open at the busy location.
The building is thought to date back to the late seventeenth century, but is not listed either locally or nationally – and saw most of its original fabric lost during works in recent years.
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Committee member Cllr Caroline Moon said it was “quite sad" that it "doesn't have any protection”.
However, she added: “I would say, on balance, we are better to have a use for [it] rather than an empty building. It has been tried and tried as a public house and doesn’t work, so what do we do with it – wait for it to rot away or give it a use that puts a business there?” Cllr Moon asked.
The meeting heard that the building – more recently called “Th’ Owd Seven Stars” – had been assessed for possible listed status several years ago, but that Historic England had concluded “it wasn’t worth it”.
As part of the conversion, two extraction pipes with silencers will be installed on the eastern side of the building, one of which will match the height of the current chimney stack. While it was accepted that these would “undoubtedly be prominent”, members were told that there no alternative options.
After councillors disagreed over the most appropriate colour for the infrastructure, it was concluded that a final decision would be taken only after discussions between the applicant and the council.
Meanwhile, Cllr Mary Green questioned the wisdom of allowing a takeaway to open “right opposite” St. Anne’s Primary School.
“[In] that area, where there are pockets of deprivation, there is a high incidence of children’s obesity – and I [think] that could be a problem,” she said.
However, the meeting heard that previous attempts in both South Ribble and neighbouring Chorley to introduce a local policy outlawing takeaways in close proximity to schools had failed – because planning inspectors had concluded that it was not based on “scientific enough” evidence.
Another attempt to develop such a policy would be made as part of ongoing work to create a joint local plan for South Ribble, Chorley and Preston, which is due to be in place by December 2023.
However, planning officer Debbie Roberts added: “St. Anne’s is a primary school, so you’d expect some element of parental control – [unlike] a secondary school where children would go and by their own food off their own bat.”
The takeaway will be permitted to open from 9am until 11pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 11pm on Sundays and bank holidays.