An historic pub looks set to be torn down despite hundreds of residents joining the fight to save it.
The fate of The Victoria Hotel, in St Annes, is set to be decided by Fylde councillors next week.
And they are being recommended to give developer McCarthy and Stone the go-ahead to demolish the Victorian building and build 40 retirement apartments, in the face of a storm of protest.
More than 400 people have signed a petition to keep the Church Road building as a pub, while the Lytham St Annes Civic Society has been pleading with Fylde Council to extend its conservation area and protect the building.
Marion Coupe, chairman of the civic society, said: “We tried to get it listed but the reason it failed is because most of the interior has been altered.
“All that was really required was to extend the St Annes conservation area, which it borders, then it would have been a lot more difficult to demolish.
“Council planners had to recommend it for approval because they’ve run out of regulations and ways they can save it.”
The red brick Victorian building – known affectionately locally as ‘The Vic’ – will be torn down and replaced by a four-floor apartment block if councillors vote to give the plans the go-ahead.
The online petition was started a month ago, but has already attracted 455 signatures. It was started by pub regular Kevin Heyworth, who said: “The Victoria Hotel is a fine building and deserves to be preserved.
“Assuming the 40 apartments will be occupied by two persons, the venue, currently enjoyed by hundreds of people, will be lost to benefit just 80.”
Nationwide preservation group The Victorian Society is also calling on councillors to throw out the plans and conservation advisor John Costello said: “Although the pub narrowly missed the criteria for listing it still forms an important part of a consistently Victorian streetscape.”
The pub’s fate will be decided when Fylde Council’s planning committee meets at 10am on Wednesday in St Annes Town Hall.