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Campaigners react with fury to Black Horse decision
ANGRY neighbours claimed they had been betrayed after councillors voted in favour of the demolition of one of the town’s oldest pubs and the construction of 16 new homes.
Following months of battling to save the boarded up Black Horse pub in Moss Bank, campaigners watched in despair at a meeting of St Helens Council’s planning committee as the panel’s chairman Councillor Stephen Glover used his casting vote to pass the plans.
It followed a nail biting vote, which saw four councillors in favour of the proposals, four against and four abstain.
Despite nearly every councillor slamming the developer Steppingstone – claiming that they had deliberately allowed the old pub to fall into disrepair by removing the slates from the roof and the windows – it was not enough to protect the building, which dates back hundreds of years.
Speaking at the meeting residents argued the building should be protected because of its historical value to the town.
Rita Allcock, 74, one of those at the forefront of the campaign said: “The developers will make their money and be gone while we will be left with an ill fitting development and road safety problems.
“The original plans to re-develop the pub would have been more sympathetic.
“It is part of the social history of St Helens. It may not be listed by English Heritage, but it is of historical importance and once it’s gone, it’s lost forever.”
Barbara Monks added: “This will have an impact on the community centre (Moss Bank Mission) and the village of Moss Bank.”
Paul Entwistle, speaking on behalf of the applicant, told the meeting the development would be of significant benefit for St Helens and the community of Moss Bank.
He also said much of the stone that was used to build the Black Horse will be integrated into the site and a plaque will detail the history of the pub and the area.
It was an offer flatly rejected by a group of neighbours after the meeting, who said it seemed to be a “St Helens disease”, in knocking down part of the town’s heritage.
Nancy Linge who lives in Neill Cottage opposite the Mission responded: “It’s an insult. We don’t want a plaque; we just want the Black Horse.”
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