DEMOLITION work has begun on a derelict pub in order to build a mosque on the site.

Plans were approved to flatten the Brierfield pub, in Blackburn Road, in November 2019, with work now underway to clear the site in order to build a new community mosque.

The Masjid-e-Salaam Trust is in charge of the development in Astley Bridge, having purchased the building over four-years ago.

The pub is believed to have been built in the early 1900s, and had operated as a public house from around 1980.

It has been closed and fenced off for over three years now, with demolition work calling an end to the historic building.

More than 150 letters of objection were received by Bolton Council protesting against the plans for the former pub.

The main objection listed on the application was the loss of a historic landmark to the area.

The application stated that members of the public expressed concerns such as “cannot afford to lose any more of our local history” and “the building is too important to lose”.

Specific details for the new structure are yet to be finalised, with the trust hoping to finalise plans for the mosque and the surrounding area in the coming weeks.

Mohammed Patel, secretary of the trust, told The Bolton News that plans for the site have been ongoing for over two years, with a lot of thought going into the design.

He said: “We hoped to have the plans submitted by now. Our architects are working very hard on getting together the most detailed drawings that they can so we can show in detail what we are planning.”

He stressed that the trust want the mosque to become an integral part of the community that everyone can appreciate.

He said: “This isn’t going to be just a mosque ­— we want to make this into a real community centre.

“This will be a real community space, with services such as a day nursery so we are really giving back to the community.”

The delay has been caused by concerns the council brought up about some of the trees at the site.

Mr Patel described how they are looking to amend some plans, in order to replace any trees that will be affected by construction.

This is due to requests from the local authority to protect trees and woodland.

He added: “We are working with our advisors to ensure that our plans for the site of the former Brierfield Hotel comply with planning requirements. The Demolition of the building is the first step towards an exciting vision."