THE battle to save an historic St Annes pub from demolition has taken a vital step forward.
An appeal by developers McCarthy and Stone against the refusal of planning permission to build retirement homes where the Victoria Hotel is currently located has been turned down by the Planning Inspectorate.
That represents a key victory for campaigners who want to buy the Victoria on Church Road, St Annes, and run it as a community facility.
They vehemently presented their case at a two-day hearing over the issue in St Annes in April.
Coun Ed Nash, leader of the campaigners, was delighted to hear that the developer’s appeal had been turned down but admitted there was still a long way to go for his group to achieve their objective. He said: “Of course it is very pleasing that the appeal has been turned down but this is only the first round of the battle.
“We now have to get together with Spirit Group, who own the Victoria, and talk about the way forward.
“We will also be taking steps to try and generate the cash required for the purchase but of course we have to be prepared for possible further appeal by McCarthy and Stone. So it’s good news and a key victory for localism, but there is a long way to go and we are not quite cracking open the Champagne just yet.”
The Victoria dates back to the 19th century and was one of the first hotels to be built in St Annes.