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Flats plan could signal the end for troubled Burton pub

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 19, 2014

By Rich Guttridge

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A PUB which was plagued by violence in the weeks leading up to its closure has 'reached its natural end' according to one Burton councillor after plans were submitted to turn it into flats.

Bill Ganley, who also runs two pubs in the town, believes the time is right to bring the curtain down on the Byrkley Arms, saying he favoured plans to convert it into living space rather than see another landlord try to make a success of the venue.

Previous landlord David Shipton was stripped of his licence in April after a council committee was told of a catalogue of issues surrounding drugs and violence.

The pub has been closed since the beginning of the year, just weeks after a brawl at the troubled Byrkley Street venue.

On one occasion in December 2012, 15 police officers descended on the pub to break up a fight which saw around 60 people spill onto the street and officers use CS gas.

Traces of cocaine were also found after tests a month later.

An application to turn the pub into three flats has now been lodged with East Staffordshire Borough Council, appearing to signal the end for the Byrkley Arms.

Shobnall councillor Bill Ganley, landlord at the Old Cottage Tavern, in Byrkley Street, and The Grange, in Casey Lane, said: "Some pubs seem to have a natural life span. People have tried to make a go of it and for several of them it hasn't worked.

"It's not a massive pub so it can't diversify into other areas. It's a drinking pub and they have to be so much more than that these days."

Councillor Ganley said high-profile incidents at the pub led to it developing a reputation.

"It depends on who is in there, not always the landlord or landlady who run it," he said.

"It gained a reputation, maybe unfairly. Sometimes things happen. Being on the way into town there were a lot of people in there who weren't regulars."

As well as drug use and fights, police were also called regarding illegal lock-ins, smoking and underage drinking.

Mr Shipton recently told the Mail that 'two bad tenants' were to blame for the trouble at the venue.

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