A HOUSING developer is hoping to turn a Poulton pub into 12 family homes – and boost the local economy.
Baxter Homes Limited is set to complete a deal for the Falcon Hotel, on Station Road, Poulton, in the next week.
And spokesman David Walker says the move will mean more work for local tradesmen.
He said: “Most of our work uses sub contractors so essentially it means more work for the likes of local heating engineers, plumbers and the like.
“The plan is for 12 family homes, some semi-detached and the rest terraced.”
Mr Walker said it was sad to see so many public houses going out of business.
He added: “The pub is looking a bit weary now and unfortunately this has been happening with a lot of pub estates which they just can’t make viable.
“This is our second pub site in the area – we’ve already put homes on the site of the former Queens Hotel in the town.
“They are great for us because they are in very sustainable locations.”
Regulars told The Gazette of their shock when brewery giant Thwaites revealed plans to close the premises.
One, Geoff Smethurst, a regular for 30 years, said it was a sad day to see it go.
He added: “I remember in the 1990s when it won pub of the year and had folk singers and jazz musicians playing all the time.
“It was surrounded by flowers and a real community venue.” And Andrew Buchanan, director of pub operations at Daniel Thwaites previously admitted to The Gazette that the venue was struggling to stay afloat as a pub business.
He said: “Unfortunately the Falcon Hotel is too large a site and not financially viable to keep open solely as a pub, hence we are looking at alternative options.”
Mr Walker said that his firm was now involved in three new building sites – a sign that the recession was being overcome. He added: “I think the worst has passed us but trading will remain hard for the next 12 or 18 months.
“We are doing well because we go for niche markets.
“Our development at Staining is the only site on the Fylde coast with bungalows on it, marketing to people who are looking at downsizing.
“And out Thornton site features specialist bungalows for the elderly.”