Much-loved club will not be turned into flats after hundreds object

Controversial blueprints to close a popular British Legion club and turn the whole site into more than 20 flats have been rejected by the national planning inspectorate.

A developer wanted to change the well-used and historically-significant social club on Rose Lane, Mossley Hill, into apartments, but it was objected to by hundreds of people living nearby.

Doug McQueen had applied to turn the bowling greens behind the premises into 13 flats, with eight more in the converted British Legion building.

There were proposals to create 20 car parking spaces and internal access roads just off the busy main road, near Allerton Road.

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Mr McQueen chose to bypass Liverpool council's own planning committee and took the case straight to the inspectorate.

But in recent weeks, inspector Daniel Hartley dismissed the proposals, mainly due to the height of the apartments overlooking onto residents on Ribberdale Road, and the effect it might have on their right to light.

Cllr Andrew Makinson, deputy leader of the city's Liberal Democrats, welcomed the decision to refuse the plans.

Rose Lane, Mossley Hill

He said the development would have created an unacceptable extra build-up of traffic on already-busy Rose Lane.

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And he said it would save a very popular bowling green where club members had been forced to move and was currently now unoccupied.

Cllr Makinson, who represents the Church ward in south Liverpool, told the ECHO: "This is a huge victory for local people.

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"Many residents got together to fight this application and I was delighted to support them in it.

"We hope to keep the building as a club or have the conversion of the just the building itself [not the land behind] into apartments."

In conclusion, Mr Hartley said: "…the harmful effect of the proposed outline development on the living conditions of the occupiers of the surrounding residential properties from the point of view of the overlooking of gardens.

"This is a matter of overriding concern. When the proposal is considered as a whole, I therefore conclude that the appeal should be dismissed and planning permission refused."

It is understood the club is no longer owned by the British Legion and the lease was taken over by the developer some years ago.

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Before becoming a Royal British Legion, the building was a Church Hall and was called the Mossley Church Hall Institute.

Over the years, it has been the venue for social events hosting appearances from singers, comedians, actors and football players.

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According to the council's licencing department, the venue changed its name to the Mossley Hill Sports and Social Club in 2013, but locals still refer to it as "The Legion."

Mr McQueen was not available for comment.

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