TIME has been called for good on the pub dubbed “Britain’s toughest”.
Town Hall chiefs forced the closure of The Flying Shuttle in Farnworth in April after hearing evidence of drug taking, arson attacks and staff too scared to tell customers to leave.
Bolton police licensing officer, PC Garry Lee said: “Not even John Wayne could sort out the problems. The potential was there for it to go off at any stage.”
And police said they did not feel safe in The Flying Shuttle during a raid involving 13 officers.
In the days after its closure, police had to step up patrols when a gang of troublemakers started fires in and around the pub.
One woman even moved her family out of the area as she feared for the safety of her four children.
Now, a developer has unveiled plans to carry out a £100,000 refurbishment of the Highfield Road building and open a Nisa supermarket, creating up to 10 jobs.
Councillors will make a decision by January 14 and, if permission is granted, the supermarket could be open by early spring.
Janice Wood, aged 49, of Anchor Lane, said: “It’s been an eyesore since the pub closed and, towards the end, the pub was out of control.
“The land isn’t going to stay like that forever so if it brings jobs, it’s a good thing.”
But Navin Khimji, who runs Premier Foods a few doors along from the building, said: “It will harm our business and will also harm the Co-op on the same row.
“It would be better as a youth club or as a restaurant or a takeaway. At least that would be something different.”
A mother-of-two, who asked not to be named, added: “Most people are against this plan. We don’t need a third shop.
“It’s been quiet since the pub closed and a shop could lead to people drinking on the street.”
Bolton-based property owner Lee Das, who owns a Best One shop in Leigh, submitted the proposals this week.
He has asked the council for permission to install a shop front, security shutters to doors, a cash machine and wheelchair ramps.
If permission is granted, the shop could open from 6am to 10pm, though Mr Das said it could start trading later in the morning.
Mr Das already has permission to use the land at the side of the pub as a car park and he does not have to apply for an alcohol sales licence because the pub had one.
He added: “This would be the area’s first supermarket and I am confident that, once people see what we have got planned for the building, they will approve.
“We are creating jobs and refurbishing an eyesore building by installing a supermarket that will offer excellent value to shoppers.”