COUNCILLORS look set to approve plans to demolish the Blackburne Arms pub.

Proposals to bulldoze the historic listed building in Orford, which dates back to 1928, to make way for a three-storey block of 52 retirement apartments for the over 55s are due to come before Warrington Borough Council’s development committee during a Town Hall meeting next week.

And councillors have been recommended to approve the scheme for 22 two-bedroom flats and 30 one-bed units.

Meeting documents state: “The site is in an established residential area and in a sustainable location.

“The apartments would provide high quality living accommodation – the proposals would also contribute to meeting an identified affordable housing need in the area and would help to sustain local facilities and transport networks.

“The application demonstrates that the impact on the highway network would be acceptable.

“The proposal is not considered to detrimentally impact the residential amenity of adjacent residents.

“Overall, it is considered that the delivery of new housing, including a significant provision of affordable housing, and improving highway safety are matters that would combine to outweigh the harm from the loss of the locally-listed building and the public house.”

Campaigners hoping to save the Orford Green pub were given a boost earlier this month when the Friends of the Blackburne Arms successfully had the watering hole listed as an asset of community value – which gives added protections against redevelopment.

And Cllr Mike Hannon has pleaded with his colleagues to refuse the application.

He said: “My concerns are overdevelopment and insufficient parking.

“There will be increased traffic movement in an area that already has volume and speed problems.

“For more than 20 years we have been trying for traffic calming in this area, and now we have been successful with traffic calming onsite now around the Smith Drive and Hallfields Rd area.

“Now, after all this success, we are faced with a scheme that will be an unacceptable increase on our highways.

“This building has many attractive architectural features that need preserving.

“Many years ago, Orford Park had the mansion house demolished and the obelisks removed.

“We are now threatened with more of Orford’s history being lost to the bulldozer.

“If this is granted, we will lose a part of Warrington’s history – please consider refusing this application.”

The meeting takes place at 6.30pm on Wednesday, March 4.