Housing plan calls time on Moor Lane pub


Plans to demolish a public house and replace it with a residential development have been approved by the Northern Planning Committee.

New Moor GB Ltd has been granted permission to replace The Riflemans Arms on Moor Lane with 8 dwellings, consisting of two blocks of 4 mews houses. Each property will have two parking spaces, located in a small parking court to the rear, and a private garden.

Councillor Gary Barton requested that the application be determined by Northern Planning Committee stating "I believe that there is a public interest case to be heard as this application will result in the loss of a local asset. The application will also increase parking problems in the area as it will result in the loss of off-road parking spaces currently in use on the site."

Wilmslow Town Council recommend refusal of this application on the grounds of overdevelopment of the site and being out-of-keeping with the streetscene and that the proposed buildings will be overbearing on neighbouring properties due to their height.

The Northern Planning Committee voted in favour of the plans by eight votes to three (one member abstained from voting) on Wednesday, 12th July.

Moor Lane, Planning Applications, The Rifleman's Arms


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Bob Bracegirdle
Thursday 13th July 2017 at 9:56 am
No one seems to care about the loss of facilities. Just more and more houses.
Howard Piltz
Thursday 13th July 2017 at 1:37 pm
A major update followed by imaginative management was unable to create a sustained profit at the Rife's. It's too big for the area and as for loss of amenity - it's NEVER been a popular pub and there's plenty of others within walking distance.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 13th July 2017 at 2:50 pm
Those with long memories may recall that when The Rex was a theatre the travelling cast used to stay in rooms above the pub. Timothy West tells of when staying there he watched a mouse climb the curtains and run along the picture rail in his bedroom.
I imagine the loss of this regular income contributed to the downward path the pub has taken over the years. Also the loss of local brewer Boddinton's and the sale of all their houses has not helped.
John Clegg
Thursday 13th July 2017 at 3:47 pm
Peter T, you might have a point about Boddies' but the brewing was messed around every 3 years or so, seemingly, since the late '90s with either the % abv or or choice of surrogate brewery.
The Farmer's was a devout temple to Boddies' when JW Lees brought it from Punch Taverns (booo!!) and the general feeling was that they would never convert the drinkers to Lees'. The latter had to buy The Cream of Manchester from a local brewery (Hydes, who were brewing it at the time) which was NEVER done.
12 months later, they'd diminished purchases of Boddies to next to nothing, less than 1 x 9 gallon (72 pints) while total volume had increased slightly.

What has more than likely killed the Rifleman's is unrealistically high business rates, rent paid to the pubco, and the artificially high and uncompetitive prices the pub would pay for the beer from the pubco, to whom they were tied to so purchasing.
Barbara Scott
Thursday 13th July 2017 at 4:28 pm
To Howard,some people are not able to walk to the nearest pub, Horse and Jockey, Farmers Arms which would you suggest? I have arthritis in both knees so that makes both of them to far to walk.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 13th July 2017 at 11:27 pm
My very recent experience of the Jockey (Tuesday) was that they had none of the four hand-pumped beers and no food, apart from burgers.
I had great expectations of the latest managers, when we visited just after they arrived the place was pretty good; shame the cycle seems to be repeating itself.
Pat Taylor
Friday 14th July 2017 at 7:48 pm
My father, Ron Russell, was a licence of The Rifes from approx '62 to '67. My husband & I were licencees there in the 80's. I don't know how far back Howard Piltz can go but it was a popular pub from the early 60's when the Tetlow's had it, before they moved to the Railway in the village. It's sad that it is closing. I agree with the comment that not everyone can walk too far to get to the next pub. Now, at 70 years of age & the way my feet are, I couldn't! We had some good times there with some brilliant customers. Can anyone remember Nellie & Claude Baverstock & John & Edna & "Judy" the dog? And what about Gillian Curzon a BRILLIANT barmaid & lovely lady? I agree with the comments about the cost of rent & rates never mind the cost of buying from pub companies but lets face it if the government had kept their noses out & allowed tied houses to carry on things wouldn't be as bad for pubs as they are.

I now live in Cornwall & similar things are happening down here but it is always harder when you hear about places that you lived & worked in that are being lost for ever.
Roger Bagguley
Saturday 15th July 2017 at 5:34 pm
Lovely to pick up on local history and to read names of people who bring it alive. Sadly Gillian Curzon is no longer with us, John too. A great couple who we knew well. Yew Tree Farm is on it's way out too. Roger Price and his brother are busy seeking to convert the abattoir into a development of some 15 houses. With town houses on one side of Moor Lane and a mixture of 2 to 5 bedroom houses on the other this part of the lane will soon be radically changed.
Michelle Curzon
Monday 17th July 2017 at 10:42 pm
Pat and Roger. Thank you for lovely comments about my parents John and Gillian Curzon. My mum worked at the Rife's for 36 years and she was sad to leave but she wanted to look after my Dad who was terminally ill at the time.
I still live locally but must admit I've been in there for a long time.
Barry Stafford
Wednesday 19th July 2017 at 4:42 pm
If this goes ahead I only hope you residents don't suffer the appalling traffic,temp. lights,roads blocked at this end of Chapel Lane/Bethel Lane. The amount of construction around here is crazy.. All flats for older people 28 flats on Holly Rd. 12 on Chapel lane opp. the Health Centre, and the huge monstrosity on Bethel Lane /Alderley Rd.The vans,lorries,cars belonging to the workmen,have been blocking all the roads. Huge delivery lorries to these sites.We have been in touch with Gary Barton, Councillor,asking why planning was allowed, all at the same time.Wilmslow is fast becoming a building site. Baz
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 19th July 2017 at 7:06 pm
Crying shame. I take Howard's point about lack of use but I remain convinced it's being managed out of existence to make money for housing sales. Moor Lane is becoming an anonymous suburban road.
Sue Hinchliffe
Wednesday 2nd August 2017 at 3:33 pm
I've worked at the Rifes on and off for the last few years and have always been a regular. In the 70' and 80's before the advent of all day drinking you had to queue to get in the vault at opening times. So Howard it was MEGA popular in its heyday. Lots of the locals round here go down the supermarket home beer drinker route or prefer to get shafted in Wilmslow centre by silly beer prices. Greedy PubCo's with extortionate rents and beer prices unfortunately mean that the Rifes won't be the last pub to make room for houses. But affordable please you are having a laugh. I reckon they will go on the market at a minimum of 600K each. Such a shame to see it go but you have to use your local or lose it.
Nick Jones
Wednesday 2nd August 2017 at 6:04 pm
@ Sue; Well if its only £600k in CEC's books that'll be the first time buyers catered for then
!!! [Not ! ]
Sue Hinchliffe
Friday 18th August 2017 at 9:09 pm
Riflemans all boarded up and waiting for the demolition crew to arrive. It's going to be a very sad day when the bulldozers arrive. It's a place full of memories for a lot of people round here. Rumours are inevitably starting to circulate regarding the fate of some of our other local hostelries. C'est la Vie and all that.