A BLACKROD pub that was once considered the heart of the community is to be demolished to make way for homes.

The former Barristers in Manchester Road will be knocked down and replaced by three two-storey town houses, car parking and gardens, after Bolton Council planners approved an application by Wigan-based Curden Developments earlier this month.

Before changing its name several years ago, the pub was known as The Green Barn Inn and records indicate that the building dates back to at least 1845.

Blackrod town councillor, Graham Farrington, who has lived in the town for more than 70 years, said the popular Green Barn Inn used to attract people from miles around.

He added: “My grandma told me she actually used to work there. From my experiences, it had a really good atmosphere and was a really popular place that attracted people from all over.

“I’ve known a number of the different landlords over the years and the place always had a good reputation. It is a shame that it will be going — it’s a piece of Blackrod’s history that we will be losing.”

A meeting of the town council heard from residents worried about parking issues.

Conditions attached to the planning permission stipulate there will be four parking spaces.

Blackrod resident John Price, aged 68, said it was sad to see the continuing demise of Blackrod’s pubs.

He added: “The Black Horse was knocked down for flats and there was the Victoria pub, which was converted into flats. It is sad to see the demise of these community businesses.

“I can remember the Green Barn Inn back in the 1960s. It was a thriving place and we would go in on a Saturday night for a lovely meal — the atmosphere was great.”

An application was originally approved to convert the building rather than demolish it, but that plan has now changed.

Mr Price said: “We were delighted when we thought that this landmark building would be retained, but now it is going to be knocked down and there is nothing we can do about it.”