Bats save pub from demolition

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The Black Horse pub has been found to have bats roosting nearby

The Black Horse pub has been found to have bats roosting nearby

Residents fighting to save their local pub near St Helens have been thrown a lifeline – thanks to a colony of bats.

The Black Horse, Moss Bank, had been facing the threat of demolition to make way for 16 new homes and an adjacent car park.

An action group was set up to fight against the plans. They argued that the already small road would be badly disrupted, and the 300-year-old building destroyed.

The bat colony discovered close to the pub means that the decision had to be made to throw out the plans to bulldoze the building, as it is illegal to harm, disturb or destroy a bat roosting place.

This is the third application to knock down the now-closed pub that has been rejected.

This gives those opposing the plans further time to continue their fight for the old building.

Retired teacher Rita Allcock, secretary of the action group, told JMU Journalism: “The planning office has refused the developers permission to demolish the pub because they did not take the bats into consideration.

“Hopefully we will be able to gather more historical information about the put that will give us a chance to put an end to the plans once and for all.”

Residents feared the construction would have disrupted roads and created traffic problems around the area.

Residents also faced the loss of parking while attending meetings at Moss Bank Mission.

Despite the efforts of the campaigners, however, the battle is not over yet – contractors are expected to return with a new demolition bid before the summer.

The bat survey concluded that a further survey should be carried out in the Spring, as this is when the bats are expected to come out of hibernation.

Demolition was previously set back in February, when there was a mix-up with paperwork.

About Emma Kemmery, JMU Journalism