Manchester licensee ‘in limbo’ after train station extension plans

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Network rail Train station

Under threat: The Star and Garter in Manchester
Under threat: The Star and Garter in Manchester
A Manchester publican fears for his business after plans to extend a railway station are set to close his pub.

Andy Martin, of the Star and Garter, said he was told by Network Rail that the scheme to extend the adjacent Piccadilly station will mean his business would have to close for three years and the building – also his home – would be uninhabitable as there would be no water or electricity supply.

In a letter, seen by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​, Network Rail has now applied to the Department of Transport for a compulsory purchase order for the Grade II listed property, meaning it would have the power to acquire the land and rights relating to the land.

However, Martin, who has owned the business for the past 17 years, said Network Rail told his local newspaper that the pub is not included in the station extension plans.

If the extension is approved following consultation the building work is set to begin in March 2016 and finish in 2018.

'It's a massive soap opera'

“We’ve been left in limbo. I’m now waiting for Network Rail to get back to me,” Martin said. “All of a sudden we’re prime property now – we’ve gone from Old Kent Road to Mayfair all in one swoop. It’s a massive soap opera.”

“They’ve got us over a barrel really bad and there’s nothing we can do,” he added.

“If the compulsory purchase order goes ahead I would need a huge amount of money to relocate, restart and attract the same amount of custom again. In the same way I’d need an equal amount, if not more, to maintain he building for three years and reopen it again if they don’t buy it.

“It’s like having your hands shaken and saying, ‘well thanks for looking after the building, we’re having it now, on your way’.”

Network Rail was unavailable for comment.

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