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31 March 2010 

NFRAG's application to English Heritage to get the Great Eastern pub declared a listed building has been turned down.  If the building had been considered "of national significance", it could have been granted a Grade II listing, meaning that nobody would be allowed to demolish or renovate it (involving altering its appearance in any way) without good reason to do so. 

Unfortunately for the Great Eastern, previous owners had removed all traces of the artefacts fitted into the pub in the late 1880s from the ship SS Great Eastern.  We know - as many residents remember until less than 10 years ago - there were wooden wall panels from the ship inside the pub, the ship's wheel was fixed to one of the walls, and the ship's bar stood proud of place inside the building.  Had these survived, English Heritage (the government appointed body who decide whether a building can be listed or not) said that they would have considered the building to be "of significant national historic interest".

English Heritage also stated that the exterior of the building had also been significantly altered since it was built.  The two front doors had both been removed, and the ground floor windows replaced with windows of a lesser and more inappropriate size than those seen in the old photographs in our collection.  They did, however, concede that the building was of significant local interest, particularly as a "landmark" building within this part of New Ferry -  but this, alas, would not be sufficient to warrant protecting it "in the national interest" by granted it listed status.

This therefore means that the decision as to whether the developer can replace it with the housing currently proposed lies with Wirral Borough Council.

We understand that the planning application (number 10/00223) has now been relodged with the Council, and is now in "consultation period" until 24th April 2010.  This means that anyone can tell the Council whether they are in favour or against the scheme to build 10 semi-detached houses on the site.

Even if you are one of the 400+ people who have signed either the electronic or the printed version of the petition asking for the former pub to be saved from demolition, you can also make your feelings known - loud and clear! - to the Council's Planning section.  To make your comments online, please click the link below:-

In the meantime, a group of 15 youths aged between 8 and 13 caused mayhem on the afternoon of Saturday 27th March.  Twice, they ripped the wooden boarding off the back door of the pub and climbed inside to cause further damage to the inside of the building.  When confronted by a resident who asked them to leave the building alone, the boys became seriously abusive to the resident to the extent that the police were called.  Although the youths had dispersed by the time the police arrived, so serious was the nature of the abuse towards the resident that the police are currently trying to find out who the culprits were.  Some names and leads have already been given to the police to follow.  If anyone else has any further information to help identify who this gang were, please ring the police on 0151 709 6010 and quote the crime reference number 1153 and the date of 27th March 2010.