A LANDLADY'S plans for a portable smoking shelter outside her pub have come under fire from a council leader who says it could be used as a weapon by drunks.

Christine Burgess has applied for permission to install two retractable awnings at the front of The Bridge Inn in Church Street, Horwich. The awnings would be fenced off with portable posts.

But Horwich Town Council leader Cllr Stephen Rock refused to support her plans, saying they present a danger to public safety and recommended the application be refused.

He said: "These posts will be very handy for battering someone's head in and will also be an eyesore at the front of the pub.

"We are trying to create a society where people do not have to put up with smoking in public and if you have to walk through the smoke it is pointless having a ban."

The seating area would be on the pavement outside the pub. The posts would be brought out when the pub opens and taken in after last orders.

The landlady, who has been at the pub for 15 years, said: "This proposal is very similar to what a lot of the bars in Deansgate in Manchester have, and they don't have any problems.

"I'm really surprised by these comments because the posts are very heavy - they need two people to lift them."

The application will be decided by Bolton Council.