Flats plan shock for popular Accrington pub

First published in News

HYNDBURN’S largest pub has closed and is being transformed into ‘executive apartments’.

The closure of the Oaklea Tavern, popular with Accrington Stanley supporters on matchdays, came as a shock to regulars when it shut this week.

Developers are to transform the site, which is more than 100 years old, into flats with refurbishment work already under way.

Though the pub is a popular reception venue and match day meeting place, owners said the huge property had crippling overheads.

Deputy council leader Clare Pritchard said: “It was a mystery to a lot of people as to why they have closed. It’s always been so popular and the food was well priced, it was a good asset to the area. They also spent a lot of money on the property.”

Borough councillor Tony Dobson said: “What we don’t want is a boarded up building standing next to the road on one of the main ways into Accrington. So if the plan is to convert it into flats, and is taking place soon, that is obviously much better for the area.”

Councillor Tim O’Kane spoke against the flats proposal at the original planning meeting. Though planning permission has been in place for some time it was not known whether the pub would ever close. He said: “It has been a community asset for decades. People need resources like these and it has been popular for weddings and funerals over the years. I think it is really sad because when these pubs go, they disappear never to be seen again.”

MGR Leisure which operated the lease said the pub was too large to be viable.

The firm’s Neil Rowe said: “It was initially a successful venture but trade is now about half what it was four years ago.

“The place is so large that the overheads were just too high. With the cost of utilities on the rise, it simply wasn’t viable as a pub any more.

“We feel the development is the best use possible for a building that would otherwise be boarded up.”

Permission to convert the large pub into six executive apartments had included demolition of the pub’s existing pool room at the back. Associated parking and a soft landscaping scheme were also part of the proposals.

Comments (10)

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5:36pm Wed 9 Jan 13

lancs1985 says...

Can get it had crippling over heads cause when I went on Stanley the other week I wouldn't say it was popular with fans to be noisy must of counted 20 supporters in there n that was it, but good pay out from building company always gelps
Can get it had crippling over heads cause when I went on Stanley the other week I wouldn't say it was popular with fans to be noisy must of counted 20 supporters in there n that was it, but good pay out from building company always gelps lancs1985
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Excluded again says...

How could it be a shock when it went through a public planning process?
How could it be a shock when it went through a public planning process? Excluded again
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Wed 9 Jan 13

pubgrub says...

Properly managed the place had the potential to be a gold mine just look at all the other pubs around the area that sell decent food and offer something different they manage in these difficult times
Properly managed the place had the potential to be a gold mine just look at all the other pubs around the area that sell decent food and offer something different they manage in these difficult times pubgrub
  • Score: 0

7:55pm Wed 9 Jan 13

2 for 5p says...

Quote

He said: “It has been a community asset for decades.

Yeah a real asset how many men have spent there kids food money in there.
How many kids Christmas presents have been spent over the counter.
How many lives has that rat hole ruined, and put into poverty.

I really enjoy watching these evil dens of iniquity close down good ridence.
Quote He said: “It has been a community asset for decades. Yeah a real asset how many men have spent there kids food money in there. How many kids Christmas presents have been spent over the counter. How many lives has that rat hole ruined, and put into poverty. I really enjoy watching these evil dens of iniquity close down good ridence. 2 for 5p
  • Score: 0

11:06pm Wed 9 Jan 13

DtheP47 says...

The other two pubs in the area have got their act together and the Oaklea is just another casualty in the pub sector.Many pubs countrywide are going to the wall with changes in leisure patterns coupled to increasing energy costs being the main reasons.
Don't get me started on pubcos abusing the beer tie.
Not sure where Clare Pritchard gets the impression it was popular?? Always dead when I went past.
The other two pubs in the area have got their act together and the Oaklea is just another casualty in the pub sector.Many pubs countrywide are going to the wall with changes in leisure patterns coupled to increasing energy costs being the main reasons. Don't get me started on pubcos abusing the beer tie. Not sure where Clare Pritchard gets the impression it was popular?? Always dead when I went past. DtheP47
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Black Car Guy. says...

I thought they have only just done this place up.?
I thought they have only just done this place up.? Black Car Guy.
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Thu 10 Jan 13

pezz11 says...

Spent many happy year in there at weekends with many owners. Shame it has to shut however more people are now drinking at home due to the price of beer in pubs. Go to the Greyhound and have a nice pint for £2.10
Spent many happy year in there at weekends with many owners. Shame it has to shut however more people are now drinking at home due to the price of beer in pubs. Go to the Greyhound and have a nice pint for £2.10 pezz11
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Thu 10 Jan 13

pezz11 says...

Spent many happy year in there at weekends with many owners. Shame it has to shut however more people are now drinking at home due to the price of beer in pubs. Go to the Greyhound and have a nice pint for £2.10
Spent many happy year in there at weekends with many owners. Shame it has to shut however more people are now drinking at home due to the price of beer in pubs. Go to the Greyhound and have a nice pint for £2.10 pezz11
  • Score: 0

6:15pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Ex-Darrener says...

It might have been an asset but it certainly hasn't been a pub for decades. We went to a do there in '97 or '98 and it was then a private club. Considering so many other pubs which were around for decades have gone to the wall in recent years, another one closing its doors is hardly a surprise. On another point, don't Stanley own The Crown, just down the road? If so, wouldn't drinking there help support the club financially?
It might have been an asset but it certainly hasn't been a pub for decades. We went to a do there in '97 or '98 and it was then a private club. Considering so many other pubs which were around for decades have gone to the wall in recent years, another one closing its doors is hardly a surprise. On another point, don't Stanley own The Crown, just down the road? If so, wouldn't drinking there help support the club financially? Ex-Darrener
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Thu 10 Jan 13

DtheP47 says...

pezz11 wrote:
Spent many happy year in there at weekends with many owners. Shame it has to shut however more people are now drinking at home due to the price of beer in pubs. Go to the Greyhound and have a nice pint for £2.10
You are having a giraffe pezz11 the Greyhound is a ****hole maybe a cheap pint but you will need all your jabs before you go in. Both the Grey Horse and the Crown are clean and tidy and put the Star Wars Bar as the GH taproom is known locally to shame. For out and out cleanliness and good ales the Peel Park or the Forts Arms take some beating.
[quote][p][bold]pezz11[/bold] wrote: Spent many happy year in there at weekends with many owners. Shame it has to shut however more people are now drinking at home due to the price of beer in pubs. Go to the Greyhound and have a nice pint for £2.10[/p][/quote]You are having a giraffe pezz11 the Greyhound is a ****hole maybe a cheap pint but you will need all your jabs before you go in. Both the Grey Horse and the Crown are clean and tidy and put the Star Wars Bar as the GH taproom is known locally to shame. For out and out cleanliness and good ales the Peel Park or the Forts Arms take some beating. DtheP47
  • Score: 0

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