Time marches on as Army pub severs its military links

The Royal Garrison
The Royal Garrison
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An old military pub is severing its links with the Army after more than 160 years.

The Royal Garrison in Fulwood, which formed part of the barracks across the road in the mid-1800s and has borne its name ever since, looks set to become two private houses.

Plans to convert the once-popular pub/hotel at the junction of Watling Street Road and Sir Tom Finney Way into two dwellings have been lodged with Preston City Council.

New owner Mr Ali Shan wants permission to divide the building in half and construct a pair of substantial semi-detached homes on the busy corner plot.

The Garrison, popular with football supporters because of its proximity to Preston North End’s Deepdale Stadium, called last orders in February 2012 and has been empty and boarded up ever since. The property sits within the Fulwood Conservation Area and is subject to restrictions on development.

But documents submitted to the council’s planning committee insist that, when complete, the exterior of the 166-year-old building will retain its traditional appearance, with new wooden sash windows replacing existing rotten ones.

The conversion will be “sympathetic” in terms of heritage, according to a planning statement. But experts say the building will have to undergo strengthening work because it has been suffering from “significant ongoing structural movement.”

The “settlement” has been blamed on the removal of a number of internal walls to make the pub more open plan.

“The development of the property should be in keeping with the style and character of the original property and the area,” says the report.

The building was first constructed in 1848 and, according to a sign on the outside of the old pub, was part of Fulwood Barracks. In 1877 it became the officers’ accommodation and then became the Royal Garrison Hotel. It continued as a hotel and as a pub for more than a century, only to close its doors more than two years ago due to a fall in trade, which also caused the Deepdale Hotel to shut up shop months later. The application is expected to be considered next month.