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Last call for the Farmers’ Arms as historic building is demolished

The building which housed the Farmers Arms pub on Station Road, St John's, is set to be demolished to make way for residential developments

The building which housed the Farmers Arms pub on Station Road, St John's, is set to be demolished to make way for residential developments

  • by Dave Kneale
 

A historic building is soon to disappear in the West of the island as demolition work begins on the Farmers’ Arms hotel in St John’s.

The building on Station Road has stood empty since the pub closed its doors for the last time several years ago.

In 2011 the site was bought by the Department of Infrastructure for £372,000.

They described the building as being in ‘poor general condition’ at the time of sale.

The demolition, expected to be completed by the end of Easter, follows the department receiving planning permission in principle in September 2013 to redevelop the site for residential purposes.

The department already owns land around the area, including the site of the former cattle mart and the sheltered housing facilities on the other side of Station Road.

Originally called The Central Hotel, the historic building was constructed when the railway line reached St John’s from Douglas in 1873.

It became known as The Farmers’ Arms because of its location next to the cattle mart, from which it enjoyed a roaring trade.

Beyond approval in principle for residential development and the demolition itself, there are no firm plans in place for the future of the site.

Andrew Wallis, of the Treasury’s Strategic Asset Management Unit, said:

‘At the current time we are working with the Department of Health and Social Security as we look at the options for redeveloping the site in the future.

‘There is a variety of different types of housing and we are looking at the best approach as we move forward.’

Concerns were previously raised as the boundary of the site takes in a section of the Heritage Trail along the old railway line.

Mr Wallis gave assurances that any future developments would not interfere with the existing public right of way:

‘The planning consent is conditional on the basis that we don’t impact on the existing footpath and heritage railway.’

He added that any future development will require full planning permission.

 

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