A FORMER pub that is being turned into a housing development has been described as looking like “something out of Syria”.

Blackrod resident David Warner compared the site at the former Barristers pub in Manchester Road, Blackrod, to a scene from the war-torn middle-eastern nation at a meeting of the town council.

The building is in the process of being knocked down and will be replaced by three two-storey town houses, car parking and gardens, after Bolton Council planners approved an application by Wigan-based Cuerden Developments in February.

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

At its height the Green Barn Inn would attract visitors from far and wide and was regarded by many as the heart of the community in Blackrod.

At the town council meeting, Mr Warner, who lives in Carlton Close, Blackrod, said he had returned from a holiday to find the site looking like “something out of Syria or Libya”.

He added: “That site is absolutely disgraceful and is dangerous too. The builders aren’t wearing hats or anything and are standing on top of the building with pick axes.

"I think the development company is making a joke of the site, you can’t imagine how bad it is until you see it — coming into the town I was appalled at what I saw.”

He also complained at the length of time being taken to carry out the development work.

Cllr Beryl Monaghan said she believed the workmen may have been asked to take the building down brick by brick in order to preserve anything valuable that they may come across.

Town Mayor Cllr Stephen Laycock said: “Unfortunately I suspect there is very little we can do on this issue.”

The council subsequently voted to get in contact with Bolton Council’s health and safety department in order to find out whether correct procedures were being upheld at the development site.

No one at Cuerden Developments was available for comment.