£271,000 facelift for ex pub

A former landmark Chorley pub could be transformed to tackle the need for one-bedroom flats in the town centre.

In February, it was reported by the Guardian that Chorley Council was chosen to lead on a Lancashire-wide scheme to support homeless people.

They have now given £271,679 to Progress Housing Group to develop the former Harry’s Bar site on St George’s Street into eight one-bedroom flats for affordable rent.

Council chiefs say it had been empty for many years and if they did not act now, it would remain derelict for some time.

Coun Adrian Lowe, responsible for homes and business at Chorley Council, said: “The council has a commitment to try and provide more affordable housing across the borough and there is a demand for one and two bedroom properties.

“Converting the property on St George’s Street is an opportunity to turn a derelict building into much needed affordable homes and to regenerate an area of the town centre.”

The site is still up for sale with a price tag of £295,000 on Peter Gilkes Estate Agents.

Ben Gilkes said: “We are aware local housing associations with the support of Chorley Council have been investigating several commercial properties for this type of use and Harry’s Bar is one of those areas being considered.

“Unfortunately buildings of this age and size are no longer in demand and alternative options have to be looked at such as demolition.”

Harry’s Bar was one of the main attractions in the town before it shut its doors in 2007.

It comes just weeks after the Guardian reported another pub in the area was being knocked down.

Demolition of the former Clayton-Brook pub in Great Greens Lane has started in recent weeks.

And it is not the first time pubs have made way for homes as Chorley Community Housing built 19 homes for rent on the ex-Talbot site off Botany Brow in 2009. Meanwhile, pub chiefs say that it is a concerning trend of pubs closing down.

Mick Clark, of CAMRA, said: “It is sad to see the council are behaving like this by looking to allow it to be moved from leisure facilities into housing.

“Surely there are plenty of other brownfield sites that could be used for this.”