Flats proposal at derelict pub

The Royal Oak in Poulton
The Royal Oak in Poulton
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Proposals to revamp an eyesore pub which has been hit by vandals and firebugs since closing down have been met with mixed reactions.

Residents and ward councillors close to the Royal Oak pub site, on the corner of Breck Road and Station Road in Poulton, have welcomed plans to bring the large three-storey building back into use, potentially as a block of purpose built flats.

Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Borough Council

Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Borough Council

But concerns have been raised about the impact the development could have on parking in the surrounding area and in overlooking neighbouring properties.

Developers Singleton and Smart have applied to Wyre Council to convert the building, demolishing part of the existing structure in order to extend it and create 12 two-bedroom apartments.

A key concern highlighted in a number of responses sent to the authority are over parking, as the development allows for 13 car parking spaces, down from the sites current 19.

Neighbours suggest 24 spaces, for the dozen flats, would be more realistic.

Coun Peter Gibson, ward councillor for Breck, said: “People want to see something happen there because it is an eyesore.

“But the issue is parking, when you’ve got 12 apartments, how much parking space is needed, and that is a cause for concern for people living on surrounding roads.

“But there is parking available over the way on the Civic Centre.

“It does look a mess so any development has got to improve the area.”

The once-popular live music venue closed down suddenly in late 2007.

In 2009 proposals to convert the building into flats were rejected after plans to incorporate balconies into the structure were deemed inappropriate.

But in 2010 permission was granted for the building to be revamped and converted into 12 flats, though the work was never started and the planning permission lapsed.

Last summer the former pub was gutted after a suspected arson attack saw fire rip through the building, and destroy rooms.

Now residents living close by hope to see the building resurrected but not at the expense of congestion and parking in the area.

One resident said: “While I am pleased this site is being redeveloped, I am also concerned about the added pressure on car parking.”

Another resident added: “Fourteen car parking slots would not be sufficient enough, resulting in the home owners having to park their car elsewhere. I am asking for the council to take into consideration this problem.”

And neighbours to the property, on Breck Road, have raised concerns about the building overlooking their properties, suggesting the extension by one-storey to the two-storey side of the building would be a “direct intrusion” on their privacy.

The application is set to be decided on by the council in February.