AN historic pub which has been at the centre of controversial planning applications has finally been demolished.

The Brierfield pub in Blackburn Road, which closed in 2016, had planning permission approved for its demolition in November 2019, and now the pub has been pulled down.

The next stage of the plans for the site, a mosque, are yet to be submitted formally as designs for the building and its surroundings are still to be fully figured out in line with regulations.

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

The pub had been closed and fenced off for over three years while it awaited the arrival of the demolition men.

The work was started just over two weeks ago, but workmen have now flattened the pub.

The trust has revealed that its plans for the next phase are on hold, while they concentrate on helping the local community through the coronavirus battle.

Mohammed Patel, secretary of the trust, said: "Our plans are obviously on hold at this difficult time, and we are focussing all our efforts on assisting the Bolton Family, by providing help and support to the community through the initiative set up by Bolton Council of Mosques.

"Anyone who is in self isolation can contact the helpline on 01204 363680 and press option 6, for help with things such as shopping collection, medication and emergency food delivery. Our volunteers will do their best to assist."

Mr Patel previously told The Bolton News that plans for the site have been ongoing for over two years, with much time and consideration going into the site.

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.”

“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.”

During the application process for the demolition of the building, over 150 letters of objection were received by Bolton Council in protest against the pub's disappearance.

Many felt that the building had served as a significant landmark in the area, and that losing the building could be a loss of heritage for area.

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

To contact a volunteer from the trust, contact the helpline on 01204 363680 and press option 6.