VILLAGERS are being urged to back a petition calling for an “eyesore” former pub to be demolished or redeveloped.

The petition is being organised by Wincham resident Pamela Lavers over the condition of the former Black Greyhound pub.

The empty building is on the main road between Wincham and Northwich, at the junction of Church Street and Hall Road, and Miss Lavers has become increasingly concerned about its appearance.

She decided to start a petition to put pressure on the building’s owners to do something about the former pub, and the petition will be at the Spar Shop in Wincham for villagers to sign.

Miss Lavers’ concern is shared by villagers and Wincham Parish Council, which is due to discuss the building’s future with the agent for the owners at tonight’s council meeting.

“The building has gradually deteriorated from when it was a pub,” said Miss Lavers, from Church Street.

“The roof looks a mess because some of the slates have been stolen and others are falling off. The windows are boarded up and the car park area is covered in weeds.

“It is an eyesore, and is only going to get worse unless the owners do something about it.

“I would like to see it demolished or redeveloped, not just left to go to wrack and ruin, and the aim of the petition is to put pressure on the owners to do something with the building.

“I do not want to live with a semi-derelict pub at the bottom of the road when we are trying to keep the village looking attractive.”

Miss Lavers and fellow Wincham resident Sue Lawson carry out regular litter picks in the village.

“It is not acceptable to leave the building to decay, and I am appealing to the owners’ sense of civic duty,” added Miss Lavers.

“They are not the people who have to walk or drive past it every time they go anywhere. It is in such a prominent position for everyone who comes in and out of Wincham.”

Miss Lavers is hoping to attract hundreds of signatures for the petition.

Parish council chairman Annie Makepeace said the condition of the Black Greyhound was the top local concern for villagers.

“The building is at the heart of the village, and is falling apart,” she said.

“We are deeply concerned about its safety – slates are falling off, the cellar is flooded and we have had vandalism and travellers on the site.

“It is very disheartening to drive past it, and we would like it to be made safe at an absolute minimum and would love to see it turned into a community asset.

“We hope to ask the agent for the building’s owner what the plans are for the building’s future at tonight’s meeting.”

Clr Makepeace is the CAMRA pub protection officer for Cheshire.

The Guardian was unable to contact the owners by the time it went to press.