Residents to get a say on future of Bamber Bridge grot spot

The site of the former McKenzie Arms has been overgrown since it was cleared in 2012
The site of the former McKenzie Arms has been overgrown since it was cleared in 2012

A High Street “grot spot” could disappear at last, almost seven years after it was left to rot.

South Ribble Council is to carry out an “options appraisal” after asking Bamber Bridge residents what they should do with the overgrown site of the former McKenzie Arms pub.

The authority knocked the alehouse down in 2012 to make way for an access road into a proposed housing estate. But the road was never built and now, after years of neglect, the land could finally be redeveloped.

Residents living near the eyesore on Station Road have been told their views will be taken into account when the future of the plot is decided.

In a letter delivered to homes last week, council leader Margaret Smith wrote: “I am now in a position to inform you that the council will now be carrying out an options appraisal for the redevelopment of this site which will then be reported to the council’s cabinet for further consideration.

“We are committed to developing high quality developments within the borough and, working closely with residents, we will ensure that any possible development of the site is in keeping with local requirements and expectations.”

A council decision to spend £520,000 on buying and demolishing the McKenzie Arms in 2012 has been the subject of an independent investigation after claims the authority paid over the odds for the derelict building.

That inquiry has now finished and the results will be revealed to councillors in March.

A council spokesman said responses from a public consultation exercise about the future of the site had been “limited,” but residents could still have their say.

Derek Rogerson, editor of the Bamber Bridge Bulletin website, said: “I think people have got so fed up of it now that they are losing interest.”