PLANS to demolish a popular Skelmersdale pub are expected to be approved at a planning committee this week.
The proposals, which will be discussed by the borough council's planning department, would involve demolishing the Polaris pub on Blakehall Road, Digmoor, and replacing it with a part two-storey, part three- storey apartment block containing 32 apartments, and an accompanying underground car park with 42 spaces.
A statement on behalf of the applicant, Ian Granite, who is landlord of the Polaris, said that the pub was running at a loss and that the premises had only been kept open to avoid a decline in the property.
The statement read: “despite additional investment in facilities including Sky television, a jukebox and free pool tables the pub has failed to attract patrons to the public house. The Polaris is not a viable business and as such the application proposes alternative development of the site.”
Further statements in support of the application point to the fact that the area is well served by pubs, with 10 licensed premises within 1km, including the Highwayman, Quarry Bank Club, The Duck, The Plough and Harrow, Grimshaw Lane Inn, The Tanner and The Almond Tree.
Two of the bar staff employed at the Polaris will by redeployed at another pub owned locally by Mr Granite with further jobs created through construction work and management of the building.
A representation from a neighbour of the pub, which has regularly hosted the Charity Rocks musical festival, raised concerns about the increase in traffic.
The statement read: “an increase in traffic will cause congestion and a safety risk, particularly in the morning at the end of school when Blakehall Road is very busy with cars and pedestrians as children are taken to school.”
If the plans are approved by the council’s planning department, the Polaris will become the latest West Lancashire pub to be demolished in favour of a housing development after similar schemes were approved at the Becconsall Hotel in Hesketh Bank and the Blue Bell Inn in Barton.