STAR readers have expressed sadness at the potential loss of a former pub building as plans to transform the Raven Lodge site have been submitted.

Developer Gradan Homes has announced proposals for a £4m housing complex at the former Raven Lodge site on Church Street in St Helens town centre.

READ MORE > Parkside regeneration plans to go before St Helens Council's planning committee

The proposed development would see a six-storey block of affordable apartments with associated car parking and ancillary landscaping.

This would comprise of one and two-bed accommodation, expected to fall within "affordable housing criteria".

The project would involve the demolition of the original pub building, which plans say is in a poor state of disrepair and has been "subject to frequent vandalism and anti-social behaviour".

St Helens Star:

A graphic of what the potential development could look like

Readers have been reacting to news of the potential development, with many voicing regret over the proposed demolition of the existing building.

One said: "Sad to see the Raven go, as an apprentice at Appleton & Howard in Salisbury Street it was our local.

"It was also the venue for my stag night, and then our wedding reception 60 years ago this last September.

Salisbury Street then contained Dicky Heyes' paper shop on the corner, Mrs Grimshaw's Lodging House, Appleton & Howard and the Salvation Army.

After Lead St came Holman Michells and at the bottom was the abattoir so there was no shortage of custom for the Raven."

St Helens Star:

A planning application has been submitted

Another added: "Why isn't this building protected?

"So much of the heritage of this town has been lost over the decades, yet other towns managed to hold on to theirs."

Another said: "Had my first pint in The Raven, aged about 15" but added "good to see this, more affordable housing in areas close to the town centre has to be a positive."

On the Star's Facebook page, Matt Crompton added: "An absolute crying shame that this has been allowed, the Raven was St Helens' first hotel, the building is almost 200 years old, I think it was built in 1829, so much history in there."

Donna Davis added: "St Helens' second oldest building with so, so much heritage. My mum was the licensee of the Raven for years, very expensive building to run but seems such a crying shame to knock it down."

Philippa Freya Chesworth said: "I agree they should also be investing in the history of the town as well as regenerating it. There doesn't seem to be a balance.

"It's a shame as there is a lot of history to that building and other buildings they seem to want to bulldoze."