CAMPAIGNERS are opposing the proposal to demolish a historic building in Burscough street in order to build six flats.
The planning application is set to go before West Lancashire Borough Council planning committee tonight where councillors will decide if planning permission is granted for the development.
The site is home to Shepherd’s DIY but developers are arguing that the site is no longer suitable for employment land as it is in a predominantly residential area and the access for modern delivery vehicles is limited.
Developers want to level the existing site and build two apartment blocks containing six flats, they also plan to create 12 parking spaces.
However the flats would not be allowed to be used to accommodate students – with this agreement being secured by a section 106 agreement.
The council has received 16 neighbour and community group objections which note the historical significance of the building.
In November, when the planning application was submitted to the council, The Advertiser reported an author’s concerns over the historical meaning of the building.
Mona Duggan said: “It stands next to the Brandreth House and I know that Brandreth came to Ormskirk in 1745. I think he probably bought the old house and then once he was established as a tanner, he built the preserved Brandreth House.
“Shepherd's masks the oldest house in Ormskirk, unfortunately it has not been listed. Those who did the listing looked at the outside and ignored it.
“It has ancient chimneys and inside are the remains of a stone-built medieval house. I am not an archaeologist so cannot even try to date it.”
The objections submitted against the application echo her sentiments, with people arguing that the development will do nothing for the historic market town and that knocking the building down would be “the destruction of Ormskirk’s history”. One objector also notes that the building was set up as a British restaurant during World War II.
Despite these concerns planning officers recommend that councillors grant planning permission but a final decision will be made at the meeting tonight.