Lead raids seal fate of an icon

The St George's Hotel and (below) Coun Oades.
The St George's Hotel and (below) Coun Oades.
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AN ICONIC building will be demolished after councillors backed plans for 12 new homes.

A three-storey apartment block will now be built where the St George’s Hotel stands, six years after the pub first closed down.

Coun Liz Oades

Coun Liz Oades

Fylde council’s Development Management Committee unanimously voted to replace the Kirkham pub after it became a target for metal thieves.

The Station Road building will consist of affordable properties and regenerate the area.

The pub, popularly known as The George, at the junction of Poulton Street, Preston Street and Station Road has had a chequered recent history.

In 2010 a body was found in the living accommodation and it was the subject of a drugs raid by police, who found cannabis plants on the premises.

Coun Liz Oades said the building had to be replaced as she estimated it could have taken a further six years for the building to be bought by new owners and refurbished.

She said: “I’m a little disappointed because I would have preferred to keep the existing building.

“It’s iconic and could be extremely attractive if restored, however, I’m being pragmatic because it’s very unsafe inside there.

“Water has got in there after lead was taken off the roof and the floor is unsafe.”

Coun Ben Aitken, chairman of the committee, said the council had done all it could to save the original building before approving the development.

He added: “When we first dealt with this the first thing we wanted to do was save the facade.

“I asked New Fylde Housing about the chances of them taking it over but they said it would be unsafe and that’s why we have had to have this new build.”

The plans, which include parking spaces and convenient access to all of the town’s shops and businesses, was recommended for approval by officers.

Mark Evans, head of planning and regeneration at Fylde council, added: “We feel this restores the architectural style of the building.

“It’s a cherished building in Kirkham and we wanted to restore and refurbish it.

“But too much lead has been stolen off the roof and it doesn’t make sense to renovate it.”

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