HUNDREDS of people have joined a campaign to save a city center pub from demolition as part of St Helens’ regeneration plans.
St Helens Council planned the regeneration of the town center and this month approved several mandatory purchase orders to make way for new housing, retail facilities, office space, a hotel and a market.
These included the proposed takeover of the Swan pub on Corporation Street, to be flattened for a “new, larger and improved bus station facility” in St Helens.
But after hundreds of people shared their disappointment with the proposals online, Scott Hindley, son of pub owner Angela, said they “won’t buy the plans”.
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The Swan’s hard work ‘it could all be for nothing’
Scott, who has lived above the pub with his mum for the past nine years, said: “After my mum and dad got divorced she worked so hard to get the pub back to where it was supposed to be.
“We have all put so much effort into improving the pub and having a major refurbishment during the pandemic. We’ve spent thousands improving the beer garden, installing new TVs for sports and getting better sound systems for live entertainment.
“We try to make the pub as friendly and welcoming as possible and so many new people have come in since the refurbishment.
“It’s a place where Saints players have come in, celebrities have dropped in after a show at the Theater Royal, but now it could all be for nothing.”
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Unhappy with plans to demolish the building for a larger bus station, Scott created an online petition to gather enough support for the council to reconsider its proposals.
In just under 48 hours, his campaign collected more than 800 signatures.
“The community of St. Helens doesn’t want this place to go away”
Scott added: “I don’t think there’s a need to flatten a deal when we already have a bus station.
“The pub does something good for the community. It’s a place where generations of people have come and it’s a place people love and care about.
“The response to the petition so far has been incredible and the support keeps growing.
“It shows that the community of St. Helens doesn’t want this place to go away.”
Recovery plans described as “transformative”.
St Helens Council said the first phase of the ‘transformative’ development of the city center will ‘attract more people to live there, to visit, [and] work” in St. Helens.
A spokesman said: “The development of the first phase will produce a vibrant mixed-use project comprising approximately 60 new apartments, quality office space, an international hotel, retail facilities, leisure facilities and a market, all set amid stunning public spaces.
“The completed development of the first phase will attract more investment, leading to the implementation of the broader master plan development framework and balance of the 423 new homes.”
Further negotiations are likely to take place following the Swan Pub’s mandatory purchase order.
Citizens have until Friday 13 January to formally object to the council’s plans.
These must be submitted in writing to the Secretary of State for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities, Planning Casework Unit 23, Stephenson Street, Birmingham, B2 4BH.
To sign the Save the Swan petition, you can follow this shortcut.
https://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/news/23200590.petition-started-save-swan-plans-demolish-pub/?ref=rss The petition started to save the swan from plans to demolish the pub