Pubwatch scheme to ban trouble-makers



Lee Forshaw, Alan Burdett and Danielle Massey are launching a new Pubwatch scheme in Leyland

Rowdy pub-goers could be slapped with ‘red cards’ and banned from town bars as a new Leyland Pubwatch scheme is launched.

Landlords are coming together to set up a strict system to keep trouble-makers out of Leyland’s pubs and make responsible revellers feel safer in the town.

Lee Forshaw, who recently opened the Withy Arms in Worden Lane, wants to introduce the idea to Leyland following the programme’s success in Bamber Bridge.

Letters have been sent to landlords inviting them to attend the first meeting of the new group next month, which will come together once a month after that.

One aspect of the scheme is for bar bosses to dish out yellow warning cards to anyone causing a nuisance, and red cards to those who really cross the line – meaning they will be banned from every establishment covered by Pubwatch.

Lee, who also has the Withy Arms in Bamber Bridge, said: “Any licensee can nominate someone to be barred, and then we’ll take a vote – it will depend on the severity of the incident.

“It works well in Bamber Bridge and there are similar schemes in Chorley and Preston. I thinkLeyland could really benefit from this – it just needs someone to kick-start it.

“The pub scene in Leyland is really picking up, and Pubwatch is a way to make people feel safer in the town, and for landlords to work together.

“We can ring each other up or send a text to say that we’ve had a bit of trouble with a certain group of people, so that people are aware of what might be coming their way.

“We can text descriptions and even photographs to warn each other.”

Lee says the group will also be able to discuss issues as a team, and present them to the police or the council’s licensing department if there are any concerns.

The Pubwatch project can also be used to bring people together to come up with other ways of improving the town too, he believes.

“When it’s coming up to something like the Leyland Festival, we could talk about doing something special for that as a group,” he said. “And we can present ideas or talk about problems to the police and the council as a unit, instead of individually.”

Alan Burdett, managing director at Ribble Brewery, which is backing the scheme, added: “I am currently the chairman of the Bamber Bridge Pubwatch and having spoken with people from licensing and the police in South Ribble, they all share the same support for a local Pubwatch in Leyland, to help reduce incidents in licensed premises.

“I have always found this type of group both helpful in keeping undesirables out of our pubs and clubs, and it also shows that we are supporting the licensing objectives.

“But most of all it enables us to exchange information and provide a unified and influential voice with local authorities, including the police.”



Calm after the storm for fiery town pub boss

Lee James Forshaw

Lee Forshaw at the Withy Arms in Leyland, who has now resolved his issues with South Ribble Council

pub owner who has caused quite a stir in Leyland hopes that his latest development will allow him to get back to business as usual.

Lee Forshaw, of the Withy Arms in Worden Lane, has been slated by South Ribble Council for not having planning permission for the changes made to the former Roebuck, and for burning logs in a fire which did not meet the necessary standards.

Now though, after gaining retrospective planning approval and installing new burners, he’s determined to keep his head down and concentrate on his new venture.

“The logs are part of the charm of the place,” he said. “So I’m glad we’ve sorted that out. Coals just glow and you don’t get the flames.

“I hope things do die down a bit with the council now.”

Environmental health officer Neil Martin said at the planning meeting he did not have much ‘faith’ in the owners’ ability to manage the premise, after regulations were broken and the council received complaints from residents about noise and litter.

As a result, the planning approval is subject to a 12-month trial for the outside seating area.

“I’m not too worried about that,” Mr Forshaw said. “He said he has no faith in us, but we already have two pubs in Bamber Bridge, and there are no problems there. This pub is an asset to Leyland.”

Source: Leyland Gaudian –

Pub’s relief after gaining retrospective permission

Withy Arms Leyland

brewery boss who made changes to a Leyland pub without planning permission apologised last week – but admitted he had done it to get the trade.

 Alan Burdett, managing director at Ribble Brewery, spoke at a planning meeting about the former Roebuck pub last week, which is now called the Withy Arms.

The brewery had to submit a retrospective application to South Ribble Council after carrying out work, such as painting the pub – which is in a conservation area but is not a listed building – creating a new seating area outside, and introducing a kitchen flue, without getting prior consent.

Mr Burdett said: “I feel I must address why we are here with a retrospective application.

“I apologise to anyone who has been affronted by this, and I can only offer the following explanation, or excuse if you prefer.

“Rightly or wrongly, well, wrongly, we needed to be up and running for the peak Christmas period, and we opened on December 12.”

“It was not our intention to be seen to be ignoring planning guidance,” Mr Burdett added.

Planning officers had recommended to approve the application as the changes ‘work well with the existing building and its immediate surroundings’, and said conditions be attached to address concerns from residents about noise disturbance.

These include a 12-month trial period of the outside seating area to determine whether the new feature had an adverse effect on neighbouring residents, and to restrict the use of the outside area to 10pm.

The council had received two letters of objection and one letter in favour of the proposals.

People objecting said the changes were out of keeping with the area – which council planning officers refuted after blue neon lights were removed – and residents from Church Road complained revellers could see into their kitchens from the outdoor area.

The council said this was not considered to be of sufficient issue to warrant planning refusal.

Coun Phil Hamman, who represents the Leyland St Mary’s ward, said: “I support this but by no way do I condone that this is a retrospective application.

“I was very annoyed when I saw this on the planning lists.

“But when I look at what we had before, and what we have now; the Roebuck was previously owned by a large brewery chain and it had a bad reputation locally.

“The landlords changed at regular intervals, and local residents would avoid that area in the evenings.

“What we have now is a peaceful area where people can enjoy a meal, and people can walk past without feeling intimidated.

“Pubs are closing all over the country, and I’m pleased this one has been regenerated.”

Coun Matthew Tomlinson, Leyland Central’s county councillor, added: “My understanding is that retrospective applications cannot be condoned or condemned for being retrospective, so I see very little reason to refuse this.

“It is perfectly in keeping with the area, and it is an improvement on what was there before.

“I think it is a massive boost for Leyland town centre.”

Sitting on the planning committee, Coun Cameron Crook said: “The great advantage of retrospective applications is that you know what you’re going to get.”

The vote was unanimous to allow the permission, with the suggested conditions.