Preston City Council plans to demolish the Saddle Inn Pub, in Sidgreaves Lane, Lea, to make way for a roadside service station. Daniel Hall, 33, is the tenant of the pub set to be demolished, and has complained about the proposed replacement.
Blackburn company EG Group, run by billionaire brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa, submitted an application to demolish the pub to Preston City Council on August 24.
Replacing the pub will be a petrol station, store and drive-thru coffee shop as part of a service station area for the £200million Preston Western Distributor Road linking the M55 to the A583.
In paperwork to the city council, owners of the pub Thwaites Brewery said the Saddle Inn was a “relatively low performing outlet”.
The group then said the decline in beer volumes “suggests that the property has become less appealing and less used by the local community”.
Speaking to Lancashire Live, Mr Hall insisted “the pub is doing really well”.
He added: “All the people that use the pub are fuming.
“I found out two months ago and thought nothing of it really – they’ve said the pubs not doing well at all, in ten years it’s not done well and it’s had ten different landlords and fair enough it has but since I’ve had it for two and half years, the pubs turned around a hell of a lot of money.
“The brewery take about £6,000 a week off me just for the pub.
“On a Sunday, we do about a hundred roast dinners so for them to say it’s not doing well, the pub is thriving.”
Mr Hall became the pub’s tenant in May 2019, with plans to run it for a least five years.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic he found the pub to be busy, especially during the Euro 2020 tournament.
He added: “I had a big screen and sometimes we were taking £4,000 just in one day just on beers,” Daniel said.
“I’m fuming, absolutely fuming because with me only having the pub for two and half years, I’ve invested a lot money to update the pub.
“I’ve had to pay for all the chairs to be recovered, all the pictures and paintings so all that was invested into and for it to be knocked down with all my money is not nice.”
Jackie Helm, 52, lived in Preston her whole life and started going to the pub in her late teens.
She told Lancashire Live the news of a potential demolition of the Saddle Inn has devastated her.
She said: “It’s used by all the community and all these new houses they’ve built down the road, the parents bring the children up, they’re playing on the play area and they’re having their meals.
“Daniel completely change the pub when he came in two and half years ago – it’s just such a busy pub, it’s the busiest one round here…
“It’s a historic building, there’s nothing at all wrong with it and it’s just heart-breaking.
“We all socialise, everyone is friendly and new people come in and they’re all welcomed.
“I’ll be devastated, absolutely devastated we don’t need another garage up here- we don’t need a drive-thru coffee shop and a garage.”
In 2020, almost 10,000 licensed premises – including pubs, clubs and restaurants – closed permanently.
A report by consultants CGA and business advisory firm AlixPartners showed there was a net reduction of 5,975 sites across Britain in 2020 when new openings were taken into account.
It represented a 175 percent rise in net closures compared with 2019.
Industry body UKHospitality has previously estimated that 640,000 jobs were lost across the sector during the year despite government support.