Real ale campaigners back fight to save pub

CAMPAIGN: Residents outside the Gillibrand Arms pub

CAMPAIGN: Residents outside the Gillibrand Arms pub

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The Campaign for Real Ale has joined the fight to save a community pub.

CAMRA has slammed the decision made by a social housing group to build properties on the Gillibrand Arms site in Collingwood Road, Chorley.

Chorley Community Housing has submitted plans which would see 22 new homes built.

Although the pub is still open, owners Thwaites have put it up for sale, subject to planning permission.

Mick Clark, communications officer for CAMRA’s Central Lancashire branch, said: “I find the attitude of CCH unacceptable.

“That a supposedly community based organisation should try to destroy the only community leisure facility open to the whole community for a mile radius is unacceptable and that housing group should be brought to task for considering it.

“I will be doing my utmost with residents to ensure that under localisation legislation the Gillibrand Arms becomes a protected community asset.”

A CCH spokesperson said: “Our intention is to provide an increase in the amount of affordable housing in Chorley in line with the council’s strategy.

“The council’s planning strategy requires us to submit information on the loss of the community facility as part of the plans, and we have done.

“The brewery have provided evidence on the lack of viability of the site in its current use.

“We have taken account of CAMRA’s own guidelines for assessing the viability. This includes looking at facilities in the area and there are other public houses within half a mile of the proposed site.

“We have consulted with residents about our plans and there have been no comments received expressing concern at the loss of the pub.”