THE former site of a landmark Runcorn pub is set for a new lease of life after plans for new apartments were rubber-stamped.

Halton Council's Development Management Committee has approved an application to build a two storey building consisting of 16, one bedroom apartments on the former site of The Croft on Halton Lodge Avenue.

The pub was built as part of the Halton Lodge new town estate but closed in 2014. It was badly damaged after being torched in a suspected arson attack in 2020 before eventually being bulldozed. The vacant site was auctioned off in 2020 for £200,000. Plans had previously been submitted for assisted living apartments.

The new scheme by Widnes-based SJJ contracts Ltd include 16 car parking spaces, communal outdoor area, secure bin and cycle storage. The committee passed the plans at a meeting held last night (Tuesday) at Runcorn Town Hall. 

A design and access statement submitted in support of the plans, said: “As (it) currently stands, the site has little contribution to the local area due to current poor quality environment and urgently requires development to liven the neighbouring surroundings and site.”

It added: “The site has few areas which the proposal will look to tackle and solve these issues. Some include such as poor condition of the site and unpleasant look, the proximity of existing building and height of the surrounding buildings.

“The proposal will aim to provide a better residential development with the aim of creating a better street scape and introduce a sense of place within the close vicinity.”

Halton Borough Council previously had a freehold interest in The Croft which it inherited from Runcorn Development Corporation and brewery.

One objection had been received raising concerns about who may occupy the flats once they’re built.

But a report to the committee, said: “ Whilst such concerns regarding the future tenants are capable of being a material planning consideration, no evidence has been provided that such problems would arise or as to the characteristics of future occupiers which may give rise to them.

"On that basis it is considered that little or no weight can be attributed to such fears.”