Make your voices heard about Luton's pub buildings

Heritage group is calling for action to save historic facades

By Lynn Hughes
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 3:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 3:34 pm

A Luton heritage group is calling on people to make their voices heard over the future of the town's pubs.

The group wants people to comment on future plans for pubs which have closed in the town, in a bid to protect historic facades.

Paul Hammond, chair of the Luton Heritage Forum, said they wanted to avoid the buildings being knocked down and replaced with unsympathetic properties.

The former Bar Eireann and the adjoining Edge nightclub (google)

The plea comes after it was revealed the town has only around 40 pubs left from its heyday of 325 licensed premises. And another three sites, the former Bar Eireann and the adjoining Edge nightclub, The Parrot at Farley Hill and The Hibbert Arms in New Town look set to be turned into housing under plans submitted to Luton Council.

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"There is no plan that I can see for the council to say 'we need to have a discussion and a plan to save the pub buildings.

"Some of them have been restored in a sensitive way but what we don't want is for them just to be demolished, that way we have no connection to the past.

The Moulders Arms which later became Bar Eireann

"We have a heritage strategy in place now but no discussion on the aspect of pubs."

And he urged people to help in the fight to save pub facades by getting involve in the planning process when applications are presented to Luton Council.

"We want to encourage people to leave comments on the planning applications," he said.

"In some parts of the town pubs are thriving but in other parts businesses will close and the buildings are under threat."

Only three years ago, Luton council appointed former councillor Mark Rivers its very own ‘night mayor’ to help boost the town’s night life.

Then infrastructure director at the local authority Sarah Hall said at the time: “Pubs are a vital element of the mix of leisure and entertainment on offer in any town centre, including here in Luton, and we're not alone in the challenges we as a community face to keep them thriving."

The Luton Heritage Forum has been going for the past 10 years with a rapidly growing interest in the heritage of the town. At its last monthly meeting for an online talk about the 33 Art Centre, more than 80 people signed up to hear the event.

What's your view on Luton's pub scene? Do you still visit a pub regularly? Why not give a shout-out to your favourite? Email [email protected]