RESIDENTS and councillors are celebrating after the derelict site of the former White Hart was knocked down – but another battle could begin over plans to replace it with a mental health centre.
The building has stood vacant for the past six years despite various campaigns to get rid of it.
But its destruction has not eased residents headaches, with many worried about the prospect of a 32-bed, all male mental health rehabilitation centre.
Audrey Butler, who has campaigned relentlessly to get the site cleared up since it closed its doors – and even since she first moved in almost half a century ago, said: “It has taken me 46 years to get to this point and I am delighted. I have sunlight coming through my window and I can wave to the church.
And Stella Boyle, who lives opposite the site, said: “It’s a good thing that it’s been knocked down. It has been dreadful and has been there for years, such a terrible eyesore with that black fence around it.
“I don’t really like what is coming there to replace it though, we already don’t feel too safe when it comes to walking around here at night.”
Councillor Elaine Wales, who serves the Whaddon ward, said: “I’m very pleased that the eyesore of the derelict White Hart has now been demolished.
“In it’s heyday it was a great pub. I have many fond memories of enjoying lovely meals in there with my dad, who passed away last year.
“It does sadden me to think ahead about what is planned for the site though.
“I would much rather see it being used for much needed pensioners bungalows.”
Denbigh ward representative, Councillor Nigel Long, who has also worked hard on the campaigns, said: “I am delighted the White Hart eyesore has been demolished.
“Well done to residents and councillors for putting the pressure on.
“I remain deeply concerned at the proposed new development. We all wanted OAP bungalows, it is a pity the council did not listen.”