Lancashire TelegraphCampaign to save historic Padiham pub is lost (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Campaign to save historic Padiham pub is lost

Lancashire Telegraph: The Alma Inn, Padiham, opened in 1897 The Alma Inn, Padiham, opened in 1897

A HISTORIC Padiham pub looks set to be turned into housing after a developer won a planning appeal.

Burnley Council had turned down proposals to convert the Alma Inn to two homes because it ‘would be detrimental to the social and economic fabric of the area’.

But the Planning Inspectorate has overturned that decision after Adrian Atkinson, a director at Mill Street contruction firm Atkinson Morley, challenged the initial ruling.

The council’s development control committee rejected the plans in July last year after a campaign by customers, and Burnley Civic Trust, to keep open the pub - the only surviving ale-house in Padiham’s ‘Top of the Town Triangle’ area.

The Alma, at the corner of West Street and Alma Street, opened in 1897, but has had 12 different tenants in the past eight years. Coun Andy Tatchell, who backed a petition launched by landlord Kevin Kirtland opposing development, said the success of the appeal was ‘deeply disappointing for Padiham’.

He said: “I thought the inspector gave us a fair hearing but, I must admit, I found his conclusion extremely disappointing. It’s in the conservation area and it’s the last remaining ‘house pub’ in the borough. It’s part of the character of the area and you can’t replace that sort of atmosphere.”

Mark Briggs, a real ale expert who reviewed the pub for the Lancashire Telegr-aph last November, said: “It’s sad to see the demise of a small, friendly, traditional pub.”

The pub’s owners, Punch Taverns, put the 2,000 sq ft site up for sale in January 2011 for £115,000, but only attracted one potential buyer, who eventually opted for other premises.

A report by Matthew Birkinshaw, from the Planning Inspectorate, concluded: “The proposal would bring about benefits by providing three-bedroom accommodation in a sustainable location, which the council confirm there is a need for.“Although there would be some harm from the job losses associated with the pub, the evidence before me indicates that its sustainable long- term future is uncertain.”

A Punch Taverns spokesperson said: “We can conf-irm contracts have been exchanged on the Alma and the sale is expected to complete in early June. The pub will close on 4 June.”

Comments (6)

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8:35pm Tue 20 May 14

Legal Beagle says...

Punch Taverns and the other pubco's have ruined the British pub scene. They are horrible, greedy, over-borrowed companies who should be properly described as property speculators. Their only concern is lining their pockets, and to hell with anyone else.
Punch Taverns and the other pubco's have ruined the British pub scene. They are horrible, greedy, over-borrowed companies who should be properly described as property speculators. Their only concern is lining their pockets, and to hell with anyone else. Legal Beagle
  • Score: 6

8:18am Wed 21 May 14

Excluded again says...

Legal Beagle wrote:
Punch Taverns and the other pubco's have ruined the British pub scene. They are horrible, greedy, over-borrowed companies who should be properly described as property speculators. Their only concern is lining their pockets, and to hell with anyone else.
While that is true, the community can save a pub if they really want to.

It only takes 21 people to register it as an Asset of Community Value with the Council. Which means that the owners can't sell to anyone but the community for 6 months. In the case of this pub, it was on the market for £115k. If it is a popular and successful pub, raising that amount of money is pretty easy - communities up and down the country have raised that much and far more.

If your pub is under threat, you can grumble and move on. Or you can look at what other communities like your have done to save their pubs and copy them.
[quote][p][bold]Legal Beagle[/bold] wrote: Punch Taverns and the other pubco's have ruined the British pub scene. They are horrible, greedy, over-borrowed companies who should be properly described as property speculators. Their only concern is lining their pockets, and to hell with anyone else.[/p][/quote]While that is true, the community can save a pub if they really want to. It only takes 21 people to register it as an Asset of Community Value with the Council. Which means that the owners can't sell to anyone but the community for 6 months. In the case of this pub, it was on the market for £115k. If it is a popular and successful pub, raising that amount of money is pretty easy - communities up and down the country have raised that much and far more. If your pub is under threat, you can grumble and move on. Or you can look at what other communities like your have done to save their pubs and copy them. Excluded again
  • Score: -1

4:39pm Wed 21 May 14

ednawhatnot says...

Atkinson Morley won't be content until every pub in Padiham has been closed down and turned into housing. Why not convert some of the empty buildings around town instead? It's not like there's a shortage.

I'll be sorry to see this pub go, it's a beautiful building with a lot of character, which will no doubt end up in a skip.
Atkinson Morley won't be content until every pub in Padiham has been closed down and turned into housing. Why not convert some of the empty buildings around town instead? It's not like there's a shortage. I'll be sorry to see this pub go, it's a beautiful building with a lot of character, which will no doubt end up in a skip. ednawhatnot
  • Score: 0

4:51pm Wed 21 May 14

Legal Beagle says...

"If your pub is under threat, you can grumble and move on. Or you can look at what other communities like your have done to save their pubs and copy them."

That's all very well for a nice, affluent, middle class community, full of people who know their way round `the system', and to whom £115k is neither here nor there.

It's a completely different story when the pub's in a working class community, to whom £115k is a fortune and who don't have the organisational and other skills available to undertake such a project.
"If your pub is under threat, you can grumble and move on. Or you can look at what other communities like your have done to save their pubs and copy them." That's all very well for a nice, affluent, middle class community, full of people who know their way round `the system', and to whom £115k is neither here nor there. It's a completely different story when the pub's in a working class community, to whom £115k is a fortune and who don't have the organisational and other skills available to undertake such a project. Legal Beagle
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Mon 26 May 14

timgaynor says...

Looking at this with a cynical eye I would say that palms have been greased prior to this utterly ridiculous ruling. "Corruption Rules OK"
Looking at this with a cynical eye I would say that palms have been greased prior to this utterly ridiculous ruling. "Corruption Rules OK" timgaynor
  • Score: -1

4:00pm Wed 28 May 14

Real Ale Up North says...

Firstly, can I say that contracts had been signed months ago. An ACV application would have been a non-starter, since the date of exchange. Secondly, although it's sad that the appeal was won, it's a tad unfair to apportion too much blame on the builder. Mr Atkinson had seen a business opportunity. A building up for sale, that had potential to make a good profit through development. The blame lies entirely with Punch Taverns who now have a flawed business model. Once a pub begins to struggle, they make no attempt to help their tenants. They want rid - they are a property company with a massive debt pile. They made their millions when the Government forced the big six brewers to sell off thousands of boozers.Property was booming and interest rates were relatively low - then the recession kicked in, and it all went tits-up!
I think you know the rest.
Firstly, can I say that contracts had been signed months ago. An ACV application would have been a non-starter, since the date of exchange. Secondly, although it's sad that the appeal was won, it's a tad unfair to apportion too much blame on the builder. Mr Atkinson had seen a business opportunity. A building up for sale, that had potential to make a good profit through development. The blame lies entirely with Punch Taverns who now have a flawed business model. Once a pub begins to struggle, they make no attempt to help their tenants. They want rid - they are a property company with a massive debt pile. They made their millions when the Government forced the big six brewers to sell off thousands of boozers.Property was booming and interest rates were relatively low - then the recession kicked in, and it all went tits-up! I think you know the rest. Real Ale Up North
  • Score: 2

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