West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is calling for West Lancashire Borough Council to push for a criminal conviction and potentially a prison sentence for the developers responsible for demolishing the Old Toby Pub, which was a listed building.
Immediately following the demolition, Rosie wrote to Historic England, who have now confirmed that they had been informed of the ‘seemingly unlawful’ demolition only after it had happened and have offered their advice to the Council on enforcement. This advice included clarification that a prison sentence would not be excluded.
MP Rosie has now written to the Chief Executive of the Borough Council insisting that they push enforcement action, and that the developers be charged and if convicted, receive the strongest punishments possible for not following the legal process.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper commented:
“The situation is very simple; these developers have ignored the laws in place to protect historically important buildings like the Toby. They have taken from us a building that Historic England say had ‘nationally important architectural and historic value’. They now must face the consequences of these actions.
“We cannot allow this to go unpunished, the Council need to take every step possible to right this wrong. The building must be rebuilt, and those responsible need to be prosecuted for the criminal damage they caused. The courts must seriously consider whether a prison sentence is necessary to ensure this is not repeated in West Lancashire.”