THE former historic Ship Inn at Walton was demolished by housing developers on the advice of police after a wall collapsed during work on the site, according to local councillor Paul Kennedy.
Contractors were working on the conversion of the old pub into apartments when the collapse occurred – forcing police to close the A56 Chester Road to traffic.
The development, by Elan Homes, involved building 14 four and five bedroomed houses behind the old pub, which in recent years had been used as an Indian restaurant, but which had been closed for some time.
Chester Road was completely closed between The Stag and Walton Lea Crematorium for some time, causing lengthy traffic delays in the area.
He said: “I spoke to a structural engineer on site who told me the police had said the building should be demolished as a matter of public safety and I can see why the police would say that – the building was in a perilous state.
“But some local residents are annoyed because the only reason they did not object to the development was that they believed the old pub would be restored.
“I am reserving judgement until I see the planning application that comes in.
“It won’t affect the rest of the site – work is continuing on the houses. But it would be good if the developer could recreate the Ship Inn as apartments, as originally intended, as this would give some character to the site frontage.
“The main thing, however, is that no-one was killed or injured.”