Wiggins’ mural pub set for demolition

Photo: David Hurst'Barry Woods raises a glass to Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins after painting this mural on the wall of Eccleston pub, The Windmill

Photo: David Hurst'Barry Woods raises a glass to Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins after painting this mural on the wall of Eccleston pub, The Windmill

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A landmark village pub that honoured Olympic hero Sir Bradley Wiggins with a huge painted mural is to be demolished.

The Windmill Hotel in Eccleston proudly displayed the mural in support of villager Wiggins after he became a multiple Olympic champion and Tour de France winner.

However the pub, on The Green, which has been empty since it closed in 2013 has been dubbed “an eyesore”.

A planning application from Andrews Homes Ltd to turn the site into nine new apartments was given the go ahead by Chorley Council’s development control committee last Tuesday evening.

The committee was told in a planning officers’ report: “Although the proposals result in the loss of a community facility, the public house, within a designated shopping area it is considered that the public house is no longer viable and there is alternative provision within the surrounding area.

“The site has been marketed and following this marketing period it is considered that the proposed development is the most appropriate re-use of this previously developed land located within a sustainable location in accordance with Policy 1 of the Adopted Central Lancashire Core Strategy.”

The mural on the now dilapidated pub features Wiggins, the St George’s flag and the red rose of Lancashire.

It was created by village resident, former signwriter Barry Woods, 53, who had painted various murals on the wall over the years, for occasions such as the World Cup and The Diamond Jubilee.

He said at the time: “Somebody sent an anonymous letter to the pub saying ‘could you please paint Bradley Wiggins on the wall.’

“The reaction has been unbelievable, people keep stopping and taking pictures.”

Wiggins won the Tour de France in 2012 – the first British rider to do so – followed by an Olympic gold in London in the same year.

In 2008, he had won two golds at Beijing Olympics, and at Athens in 2004, he picked up his first Olympic gold.

Coun Martin Boardman, Eccleston ward councillor, said he and village residents were not unhappy about the site being redeveloped.

He said: “My reaction is similar to the people of Eccleston who are pleased it’s being redeveloped as it’s been an eyesore for a number of years and it wasn’t doing much trade as a pub, so it was unsustainable.

“The development is in keeping with the area of Eccleston – it’s a group of town houses which will smarten up that area.”