MORE than 20 jobs could be coming to a Hyndburn village if plans to knock down a former pub and build a convenience store are given the green light.

The proposal is to demolish the former Bay Horse pub in Baxenden and create a new Co-op store, with another business unit on site.

Hollis Vincent have submitted the application on behalf of Maple Investments Ltd. 

In the report to planners it said that the pub had been operating 'for over 120 years, and possibly for more than 150 years' but had suffered a downturn in recent years.

It said: "Indeed, the sharp downturn in sales since the financial year 2014/15 meant that the pub became economically unviable in 2020, before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which was merely the final nail in the coffin, from which there was no recovery; indeed, the pub closed on 24th July 2020.

"One of the benefits of the application proposal, therefore, is that it is located directly opposite St Johns Church, the Baxenden Pharmacy and the Baxenden Dental Practice, and next door to the Baxenden Physiotherapy Clinic.

"As a consequence, the application proposal will help to create a mini nucleus in the geographical centre of Baxenden."

The plan also mentions there will five full-time jobs and 15 part-time positions created by the scheme.

Cllr Terry Hurn, who represents the Baxenden ward, said: "Basically the idea is right for the Co-op but we really need to look at the traffic situation and possibly need traffic calming further down Manchester Road. Hopefully we will have Lancashire County Council highways down to look at it."

Kimberley Whitehead, who is a local resident, said: "It will be a real shame to see the pub demolished, after all The Bay Horse has been a huge part of the Baxenden community for over 150 years.

"Whilst I am not against the idea of a Co-op, my immediate concerns are for local businesses and how it will impact them.

"Particularly given the challenging times they are already facing due to Covid. I have spoken to some already with mixed feelings.

"I would be interested in hearing local residents' views and I have put together a survey for residents to capture concerns

"So far 144 people have submitted their views about it on the page."