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Plans to turn Ropers Arms into a Co-op convenience store set to be turned down by councillors

Petition against the plan gained over 700 signatures from local residents and businesses

Ropers Arms pub on Wigan Road.

Plans to turn the Ropers Arms into a Co-op convenience store have faced staunch opposition from Ormskirk residents.

The plans to change the use of the building from a pub into a Co-op store and office accommodation, as well as build a three bedroomed home at the back of the pub, were submitted to the Council earlier this year.

The proposal is due to go before councillors tonight at the West Lancashire Borough Council planning committee.

A petition against the plans with 703 signatures has been submitted to the council, along with 117 other objections from the community.

Residents are against the proposals for several reasons, including impact on highway safety, the loss of an important local building and the threat to existing businesses on the road.

John Teeman, a member of the community who submitted an objection to the council, said: “Wigan Road is already heavily congested, and such a development will result in an increase in traffic and associated noise pollution, including daily HGV deliveries at unsociable hours.

“The application states that the site is currently vacant and there are no employees, but the Ropers is trading, furthermore there are three independent convenience stores in immediate proximity to the site employing local people, granting this application will lead to job losses.

“There are already empty offices and retail premises in Ormskirk. Do we really need more?”

If planning permission for the store was granted the proposed opening hours would be 7am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and 8am until 10pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays. A 24hour ATM is proposed to the rear of the building.

In his report to councillors, the Assistant Director of planning, John Harrison said: “The development has the potential to have a negative impact on the vitality and viability of Ormskirk town centre, on this basis the proposed development is found to be contrary to both national and local policy.

“In addition harm to highway safety, the free flow of traffic and neighbouring amenity has been identified because of the lack of on-site parking. I recommend the application is refused.”