Historic village name is lost

The part demolished De Trafford Arms in Croston.
The part demolished De Trafford Arms in Croston.
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A development company faces the wrath of residents over its choice of name for a village street.

Croston villagers are furious with Wainhomes’ development after they chose to name a new street St Aidan’s Place, which is based on the old de Trafford Arms site on Station Road.

But residents wanted the street name to be named after the de Trafford family, because of their links to Croston.

The de Traffords built the pub in the village, and can be traced back in Croston to 1526.

In the borough council’s guide to street naming, it states parish councils will be given 21 days to raise issues with naming rights.

But on this occasion, the parish council says it never received any notification from the borough council about the proposed St Aidan’s Place name – as it is thought that was sent to a defunct email address.

Parish councillor Kath Almond said: “People in Croston couldn’t believe their eyes when a board advertising the Wainhomes development went up in the village.

“Everyone had expected the new street name to be called after the de Trafford family, which was the name suggested to Chorley Council by the parish council.

“The new name bears no relation to the community.

“St Aidan was an Irish monk who preached Christianity in Northumbria.

“There is no record of him ever visiting Lancashire.

“We think that we have a right to ask Chorley Council to go through the whole process again legally, even if it means having to pay compensation to the developers for any costs incurred to date.

“ This is where the de Trafford Arms was, and this is where the name should stay.”

Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “The developer suggested the name St Aidan’s Place, which is not only in accordance with the guidelines published on our website, but also has the historical link with Croston in that St Aidan founded the village.

“We consulted the parish council and when no response was received, we contacted them again to ask for their opinion.

“They made their comments known then, but it was decided St Aidan’s Place was a relevant name.

“We have a delicate balance of trying to ensure new street names have some relevance to the area, as well as satisfying the needs of the developer to market and sell properties.

“However, I can understand that the name de Trafford is important to the village.

“So we’ve suggested to the parish council that a future housing development in the village could perhaps incorporate the de Trafford name.”

Steve Toghill, managing director of Wainhomes, said: “We have gone to Chorley Council with a name suggestion and they have done the relevant consultation, and come back to us accepting it.

“There are operational issues to think about now – we have put signs up, registered the site with that name, and all the marketing material has that name, which all costs money.

“I would have looked at the name the parish council wanted, because I do understand why they want it, but sadly it’s too late now.”