Flat plans for ex-pub rejected

Residents of Houghton Close, Newton-le-Willows are unhappy about a planning application submitted to turn the Houghton Arms into 18 one bedroom flats
Residents of Houghton Close, Newton-le-Willows are unhappy about a planning application submitted to turn the Houghton Arms into 18 one bedroom flats

Residents were celebrating last night after controversial plans to turn a pub into bedsits were turned down by St Helens Council.

Around 20 people had sent letters to the town hall objecting to plans to turn the former Houghton Arms in Earlestown into a development of 18 bedrooms with shared kitchens.

Protestors said the new flats would add to existing congestion problems in Houghton Close and surrounding streets and a development based around housing for families would be more in keeping with the area.

Concerns were also raised over who will be found to fill the rooms if they do not sell on the market.

St Helens Council planning committee met on Tuesday evening and rejected the plan.

Residents’ spokesman Eddie Hill, 43, said: “The main problem was they were looking to turn it into 18 one-bedroom apartments. It would look like a hotel with a shared kitchen on both floors.

“They say it’s for professional people but residents have looked at other developments and they haven’t turned out that way. If it had been for families it wouldn’t have been a problem.

“It’s also a very congested area. Several months ago they put double yellow lines at the top of my street which clearly highlights to me there’s an issue.

“We’ve held several residents’ meetings over the past couple of weeks and it’s got bigger and bigger.”

Mr Hill had also complained about the lack of consultation, saying many residents he spoke to were previously unaware the application had been lodged.