Campaigner disappointed as plans to demolish Thornton’s Burn Naze pub are approved

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A campaigner who tried to save a Thornton pub from demolition has spoken of her disappointment after Wyre planners approved proposals to knock it down.

 

Joanne Cooper led the effort to try and preserve the Burn Naze Hotel pub, on Gamble Road, after hearing about plans by Mangrove Estates to demolish it and build a block of 24 apartments on the site.

She set up a Facebook group which more than 200 members and succeeded in getting the building listed.

Joanne, 65, of Wareing Drive, was even supported by councillors from across the political spectrum, Labour councillor Rob Fail and Conservative member Emma Ellison.

Joanne Cooper fought to save the Burn Naze pub in Thornton

Joanne Cooper fought to save the Burn Naze pub in Thornton

However, Margrove launched a late appeal against the listing and the pub was de-listed, followed by an application re-submitted to have it demolished, which has now been approved.

Joanne said: “I knew that once it was de-listed and the demolition plans were put in again, the writing was on the wall.

“I’m still disappointed, though, because Thornton is being absolutely hammered with new housing, it is ridiculous how many new homes are being built here.

“Instead of trying to save fine old buildings they just want to keep building shiny new buildings in any space available.

Andrew Coward, Joanne Cooper and councillors Emma Ellison and Rob Fail outside the Burn Naze pub back in October

Andrew Coward, Joanne Cooper and councillors Emma Ellison and Rob Fail outside the Burn Naze pub back in October

“It is a shame the brewery did not invest more in the Burn Naze while they had it.

“I tried to save it because I had a lot of good times there, it was a community pub with a great atmosphere, when it was at its best.”

Joanne accepted that it may not have been practical to try re-open the Burn Naze as a pub, but she felt it would have made a good community centre.

Coun Fail felt that, with proposals to re-open Thornton station and reinstate a rail link between Fleetwood and Poulton, the Burn Naze might even flourish again as a pub.

Built just after 1900, the Burn Naze was originally the local meeting place for workers at the nearby United Alkali Company ammonia soda works, which had opened in 1890 and became part of ICI in 1926.

Many of the workers lived in the close-knit houses in the Burn Naze district of the town.

In more recent years, families would meet there and the pub developed a unique community atmosphere.

But in October 2019 the pub, which had been struggling at the time, was unexpectedly closed by its then owner, Trust Inns.

A year later it was sold to Mangrove Estates, a Manchester housing firm which intends to built apartments on the site.

Work must start within three years but be mindful of water mains near the building and local wildlife, papers said.

Mangrove Estates were not available for comment.