A ONCE-POPULAR pub that looks set to be transformed into a care home is believed to have been ransacked by vandals and thieves.
Windows have been smashed and floor boards ripped up at the Punch Bowl, in Main Street, Stapenhill.
Staffordshire Police revealed that although the pub was in a ‘state of disrepair’, officers have classified the damage at the pub as a ‘suspicious incident’ and have launched an investigation.
A spokesman for the force said: “Officers were called to the premises at around 5pm on Sunday following reports of an insecure door at the pub.
“Upon arrival officers noted a large amount of damage throughout the property, but also noted that the site had been in a state of disrepair for some time.
“It is not yet clear if a crime has been committed, but due to the level of damage the force is classifying it as a suspicious incident.
“An investigation has been launched and we are asking anyone who sees anyone entering the property and leaving with anything, or causing damage, to get in touch with us on 101.”
A decked area at the back of the pub has been stripped bare and, as you enter the main bar, half of the floor has been ripped away.
Nearly every window at the pub has been broken.
In July, the Mail revealed the site would no longer be used as a pub due to falling sales.
It was sold by former owner Punch Taverns back in April after becoming ‘no longer viable’.
The Punch Bowl’s trade had declined by 50 per cent between 2005 and 2012, and with four pubs within 100 yards of each other in the area, Punch decided to sell.
Bi Design Architecture Ltd has now submitted plans to East Staffordshire Borough Council to demolish the building and construct a new two-storey, 42-bedroom nursing home.