Offices proposal for landmark pub

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PLANS have been submitted to convert a legendary Blackpool pub into offices.

The Oxford, in Oxford Square, Marton, had been a mainstay on the resort’s social scene for years but, after closing its doors a few years ago, saw a number of failed attempts to resurrect the business.

Now, following the purchase of the pub at auction for £120,000, plans have been lodged to convert the building into office premises.

They include the demolition of a rear storage building to form a car park, cycle and bin area, a first-floor extension to the side and rear, installing new windows and creating a new entrance feature.

The move flies in the face of a desperate plea from Blackpool landlords to re-open the building, as a pub.

The venue was famed in the past as a live music venue, with landlords having to work extra hard to attract customers due to a lack of parking spaces in the area.

Dave Daly, licensee of The Castle on Central Drive, and chairman of the landlords’ group Licensees Unite, said: “It is a shame for the local community as even with Marton Institute across the road, there aren’t many pubs in the area.

“It just shows the state of the industry really. And it’s a great shame if the council can’t say no to the change of use.

“I know it’s a case of use it or lose it, but pubs can be as important as a Post Office to the local community.”

The pub had been taken over by several different landlords during the past few years.

When the property was auctioned by Pugh property vendors, it was marketed as having potential for different uses.

Ian Rigg, landlord of award-winning Lytham pub The Taps, added: “It’s such a sad time. It’s a crying shame when pubs like this go.”