AN application to demolish an 18th century Lower Withington pub has been resubmitted, with its recently-awarded protective status also under threat.

Owners of the Black Swan in Trap Street have applied to build three homes on the site of the pub, which has been closed since early 2016 but was registered as an asset of community value (ACV) by Cheshire East Council last summer.

The ACV decision – brought about by a ‘Friends of the Black Swan’ application – is now subject to a tribunal set to be heard early this year, with the outcome potentially influential to the planning decision.

Tim Pearson, of Friends of the Black Swan, said: “[The owners] claim the pub is unviable and should be demolished. We challenge that view.

“The Swan has always been a popular destination of choice and we’re convinced it can be again.

“The pub’s traded there since 1755. All it needs is a new owner with the right experience and genuine commitment.

“The new developments in the area mean that there are even more people wanting to enjoy a local country pub.”

Since closing the pub, the owners had attempted to sell the pub before turning their attention to housebuilding. An application for five homes – which brought about the ACV – was withdrawn in September.

Tim said: “There was significant interest from potential buyers, but the offers didn’t meet the owners’ expectations so it was taken off the market.

“Building houses may be more financially attractive, but the whole community would lose out and we’re determined not to accept this continued erosion of our local heritage lying down.

“The parish council has been with us all the way and we expect them to call the decision in to full planning committee again.”

The deadline for members of the public to comment on the application at Cheshire East Council’s online planning portal is January 17, ahead of a target decision date of February 9.

You can ‘like’ the ‘Friends of the Black Swan, Lower Withington’ group on Facebook to follow their campaign.