The Penny drops after houses plan given go ahead

THE man who will knock down a Denton pub and build eight properties on its site insists he gave people living in the area time to get it listed as a community asset.

And there is no way St Anne’s Road will be reopened because the scheme has got the go ahead.

The now former Penny Farthing will now be demolished and four blocks of semi-detached properties built on the site after it was unanimously approved by Tameside councillors.

The Penny Farthing pub in Denton

Local campaigners opposed to the development attempted to get the structure listed as an Asset of Community Value.

And Karl Illingworth revealed he stood to one side to let them attempt to save it.

Speaking to Tameside Council’s Speakers’ Panel, he said: “We did give people time locally to try and get it as a community asset and we stood down to allow them to do that but that never materialised.

“In April 2019, we had a price agreed with Thwaites to buy the pub and local residents wanted to try and keep it as a pub.

“We withdrew or offer for six or seven months to allow the community asset people who were trying to pull that together to do it and they failed on that. We only became involved again in September 2019, when we bought it.”

Tameside Council approved the application, even though it received representation from 14 neighbouring properties raising concerns including the way the houses would overlook properties on nearby Mollets Wood and Broadhurst, the loss of trees, noise from additional traffic and the fact there are too many houses being built in the area.

But worries from Denton North East councillor Vincent Ricci that approval would lead to St Anne’s Road, which has been blocked off for years because of ‘boy racers’, being reopened were quelled.

He said: “I’m wondering if the applicant will come back at a later date wanting to open that road or whether it would remain as it is?

“I’d be concerned if they came back at a later date wanting to open the road.”

However, highways officers from the council told him ‘the status quo exists’ and pointed out the thing blocking the carriageway is outside the area of this application.

Every councillor on the speaker’s panel voted for the application after neither the authority, the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit nor United Utilities raised any objections.

In its report, the council said: “The scheme does not propose the closure of a public house that is currently operational; the site has been vacant for a period of time.

“Whilst the proposals would result in the loss of the established use of the site as a public house, the building is currently vacant and as such the scheme would not result in the loss of an active community facility.

“Given the proximity of the services and facilities in Denton town centre, it is considered that the loss of the public house in this location would not prevent the local community meeting its basic needs.”

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