What follows is an appeal by John Ireland – Please Share ❤️
Please object this Planning Application 63308
The ‘Grants’ to Ramsbottom is to Ramsbottom, what Blackpool Tower is to the Golden Mile or the Opera House is to Sydney Harbour.
A unique and iconic building standing above the Market Place as old as the town itself and the picture of Ramsbottom on virtually every post card ever made, that has, until recently, provided hospitality, warmth, food and drink and shelter and in some cases sanctuary to the locals for almost 200 years.
This is now in mortal danger of being lost forever by an under consideration planning application 63308 by Bury Council for a ‘change of use’. This is to convert the old pub and hotel into a bland looking office block to house a shoal of financial planning advisers, a change which would see a requirement of 35 permanent car parking spaces. A request that Ramsbottom, at the moment can ill afford.
It’s a situation that is unbelievable these days, when Ramsbottom is currently exploding with new wine bars, tapas bars and restaurants. Ramsbottom is gaining an enviable reputation as a centre of fine dining and outstanding hostelries whilst being actively encouraged to do so by the Council in its draft tourism strategy which states:- The loss of existing facilities serve to hinder tourism development, is all the more important that they should be therefore safeguarded.
The Council will encourage and support any development which would extend the range of visitor accommodation. That the handsome, historic and Grade 2 listed, ‘Grants’, the oldest pub and hotel in town sitting at the very heart of the towns centre conservation is under threat is unimaginable.
The building that’s seen Ramsbottom grow up around it and recently awarded an AVC (asset of Community value) for its value to the community. That this should now be under threat and maybe about to disappear and with it the warmth, light and life that it used to bring to the Market Place and the centre of Ramsbottom after dark will be lost forever defies belief. An office block can never do the same, closing at 6pm and all weekend.
Enough is enough, the owner of the Grants doesn’t even appear to have put it up for sale and in not doing so, hasn’t even given any of the interested parties who are convinced it can be resurrected as a successful pub and hotel, the opportunity to buy it as an ongoing concern at a realistic price decided by an independent valuation. Having deliberately refused to spend a penny on the pub & hotel for years, causing it to decline and eventually close to then ask for a ‘change of use’ on the grounds that the business that’s traded quite successfully and continuously for 200 years is no longer viable.
If this is the case, never have the words of poet Hilaire Belloc rung more true:- “When you have lost your inns, drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England.”
We believe a ‘change of use‘ application should not even be considered until a sincere and verifiable exercise over an extended period of time has been made to sell the ‘Grants’ as ongoing business.
There’s an old but true adage that goes “The original use of an historic building is the best use” So if you wish to save the old ‘Grants’ and give it another chance under new management and ownership, please go online to email email@example.com the planning officer for planning application number 63308 with your comments or use the planning portal.
by John Ireland