Demolition of historic pub begins despite public objection.

  • Work to demolish the oldest pub in Ancoats began over the weekend despite public opposition.
  • Manchester Council announced the approval of the demolition of the historic Smith's Arms pub back in June.
  • Council ignores voices of local residents and campaign groups who have protested against the demolition.

Demolition of the historic Smith's Arms pub, the oldest in Ancoats, began over the weekend. Despite numerous protests and pubic objections, Manchester City Council, who are the landowners and the development company, are going ahead with the plans to demolish the landmark pub.

Former Manchester MP, John Leech, said of the loss: "The council have failed to recognise the contribution that the Smith's Arms makes to the Ancoats conservation area and this will be a real loss for local residents." 

Since the news was announced earlier this year, residents and campaigners have staged several protests and set up campaign groups online in desperate attempts to halt the council's plans.

Leading campaign group, Manchester Shield, said: "The contamination of politics, power, position and profit is increasingly concerning in Manchester. The lack of public involvement in policy and strategy is becoming a real concern for local residents. 

The listed asset closed in the 1990s, but has been well preserved. There is no evidence to suggest it is a building at risk, or beyond repair, despite being the oldest pub in Ancoats.

Manchester Shield added: "There are legitimate questions and concerns from local residents that the council are just ignoring."

Of the 96 councillors on Manchester council, the only one to speak out on the issue is the city's sole opposition member, Cllr. John Leech, who added: "It is typical of the Labour council to ignore the concerns of Manchester residents and the historic building panel, going ahead to destroy conservation areas.

"This is yet another part of Manchester's history being wiped off the map."

This, however, is not the first time the building has been under threat though. In 2010, when Manchester Council had an opposition made up of 33 Liberal Democrats and one Conservative, the application to demolish the local landmark was rejected.

Work to demolish the pub continues.

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