Owners of the Black Swan pub in Lower Withington have re-applied to demolish it and build three homes on the site. The pub has been closed since early 2016 but was registered as an asset of community value (ACV) by Cheshire East Council last summer.
The ACV decision – brought about by a ‘Friends of the Black Swan’ application – is now subject to a tribunal set to be heard early this year, with the outcome potentially influential to the planning decision.
Tim Pearson, of Friends of the Black Swan, said: “[The owners] claim the pub is unviable and should be demolished. We challenge that view. The Swan has always been a popular destination of choice and we’re convinced it can be again. The pub’s traded there since 1755. All it needs is a new owner with the right experience and genuine commitment. The new developments in the area mean that there are even more people wanting to enjoy a local country pub.”
Link to CEC page to make comments before 17th Jan: 17/6356M. Follow “Friends of The Black Swan, Lower Withington” on Facebook for updates.
Since closing the pub, the owners had attempted to sell the pub before turning their attention to housebuilding. An application for five homes – which brought about the ACV – was withdrawn in September.
Tim said: “There was significant interest from potential buyers, but the offers didn’t meet the owners’ expectations so it was taken off the market. Building houses may be more financially attractive, but the whole community would lose out and we’re determined not to accept this continued erosion of our local heritage lying down. The parish council has been with us all the way and we expect them to call the decision in to full planning committee again.”
The deadline for members of the public to comment on the application at Cheshire East Council’s online planning portal is January 17, ahead of a target decision date of February 9. Knutsford Guardian