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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Campaign launched to save Cumbrian pub from demolition

A campaign has started to save one of Whitehaven’s best known pubs from demolition to make way for a car park for the disabled.

The Dusty Miller pub photo
The Dusty Miller

The News & Star revealed that negotiations were taking place between the developers of the town’s £18 million Albion Square office development and the owners of the Dusty Miller.

NDA Properties Ltd, part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, is in the process of buying the Swingpump Lane building as part of its Albion Square plans.

A campaign page has now been set up on social media site Facebook in a bid to halt the sale and keep the pub as it is, with members blasting the idea as “crazy” and “outrageous”.

Called Save the Dusty, the page has been inundated with posts from supporters of the pub.

Dorothy Shepherd said: “It’s a lovely building. Too old and graceful to be rubbished for a car park. Please someone Save the Dusty!”

Christine Clark said: “This property has many architectural features and should be preserved. To demolish it to make disabled parking spaces is a hideous excuse!”

And Anne Hardy Gilmour said: “A total shame to hear about the Dusty ... another part of Whitehaven history going, why can’t it be saved?

“It could be a gold mine when the offices behind it are built, please please don’t knock down this lovely building.”

Council leader Elaine Woodburn denied that the council had obtained a compulsory purchase order on the pub.

She said: “Can I state the facts – the council has not nor has it ever put or threatened Trust Inns with a CPo. Discussions are with the NDA not Copeland Borough Council and they have not placed a CPo on the building either. Trust inns had no plans and it is not a listed historic building.”

The fate of the Dusty Miller has been uncertain since it was announced four years ago that an office block, housing 1,000 Sellafield office workers, was to be built on land surrounding the pub. Neighbouring buildings were purchased and demolished to make way for the scheme, but it looked as though the Swingpump Lane premises was to remain.

Brian Hough, NDA’s socio-economic manager, said: “We are in negotiations to purchase the Dusty Miller and it will form part of the overall Albion Square development.

“To make the project (Albion Square) even more beneficial, we felt it would be right to purchase this premises,” he said.

“The first thing we would do would be to carry out the demolition and clearance of the site pretty quickly, which I would expect to happen in a relatively short term.”

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