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Plans for Ropers Arms pub is "putting business at risk"

Backlash against plans for a Co-op at community pub

Ropers Arms pub on Wigan Road.

Angry traders and residents have hit out at plans to turn a community pub into a chain convenience store.

A planning application for the Ropers Arms on Wigan Road has been put forward to West Lancashire Borough Council for a change of use to a Co-op and offices.

Neil Ireland, who owns Go Local said that the new plans will damage his business.

He said: “Local, independent shops like mine can not compete with big chains like the Co-op, if it opens it will finish my business.

“I am all for competition, but it needs to be fair. I employ 15 local people and this development will put their jobs at risk.”

A dad to two-year-old Erica and eight-month-old India, he added: “I just don’t want to let my children down, I want to be able to provide for them.”

Neil Ireland outside his shop Go Local on Wigan Road, he says his business will be damaged if the Co-op planning application goes through.

Peter Lloyd, who live in the Red Row housing development, has organised a meeting at the Ropers Arms on Friday night at 8pm.

He said: “My petition already has 100 signatures because this is a thriving pubs with a darts team and is the heart of a community.

“And many parents of students come and stay in the bed and breakfast rooms at the pub because there is nowhere else.

“I think that this is a very disappointing application.”

Millionaire developer and planning applicant Mike McComb said: “I also own The Windmill pub which has closed down, neither pub was thriving.

“I am refurbishing The Windmill and offering the lease to the Ropers landlord so that instead of two weak pubs the community will have one strong pub.

“The Co-op will being fantastic value and convenience to the town where many shops are shut after 5:30pm.”

To make a comment on the application visit

The council’s consultation the public to have their say runs until July 31.

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