Westhoughton pub knocked down without permission
THE demolition of a Westhoughton pub controversially earmarked to become an apartment block was halted by Bolton Council — after an admin error meant developers did not have permission to knock it down.
Work began early last week but was dramatically stopped as the planning authority had not been given the customary 28 days notice to consider the impact of the demolition.
A plan to turn the Windmill pub in Chorley Road into a two-storey apartment block and four semi-detached houses is currently being considered by Bolton Council.
Demolition work can begin without planning permission — provided developers inform the council and building control.
Developers Platinum Projects Europe (PPE) said building control had given their approval, but that a mistake had been made, adding that the “minor error” was resolved within a few hours.
Bolton Council said they did not receive prior notification — but has allowed the work to carry on as the building had already become unsafe. The work has continued swiftly, with most of the roof having now been ripped out, and barely half of the building still standing.
Cllr David Wilkinson, for Hoskers and Hart Common, said: “I’m not a big fan of this application and when I noticed work had started without authority I was very concerned.”
However, Steve Openshaw, director of PPE, played down the mix-up.
He said: “All the necessary paperwork had been done and it was simply a case of duplicating papers rather than triplicating them, if you like.
“Within a matter of a few hours the issue had been resolved. Controlled demolition had to take place now as the building was becoming derelict and unsafe, not to mention an eyesore.
“Our planning discussions with the council planners have always been open and honest and we’ve created a good relationship with them through our architects.”
A council spokesman said: “The council was made aware that the building was being demolished on September 19 and we asked them to stop proceedings, which they did immediately.
“A building control officer inspected the site and we agreed that the building should be cleared.” A decision on whether the apartment block and houses can be built is expected to be made on October 21 after it was delegated to council officers.
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