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As unlikely as it may seem, there's Panic On The Streets Of Fulwood, an otherwise leafy and sonambulant suburb of Preston. And what exactly is the cause of this disquiet? A micropub. Or rather, a micropub that does not exist.
You may have read (on the internet, of course) that a lot of printed media will be extinct by 2030. The owner of Fulwood's only newsagent has read this too, and wants to convert his shop to a licenced premises. And the locals are unhappy.
If you've ever read the standard objections of residents to a new pub, or indeed anything that may change the "character" of an area, this will sound very familiar. Noise. Drunks. Cars. Violence. Cigarette ends. General undesirable characters. And aren't there enough pubs already?

Most of the objections are the usual spurious nonsense. Broadway News is on a road just off Garstang Road, the major northbound route to Junction 32 of the M6, so cars and noise are a given. Fulwood is mainly middle aged and middle class, so drunken violence is unlikely, and it's doubtful the so-called lower orders will walk from Plungington or Cottam to pay micropub prices for lager. As for parked cars, it's pretty much impossible to park anywhere in Fulwood without paying or risking a fine or FPN.
Rampant disorder bistro

It's true there are four other places selling alcoholic drinks within visual distance, but would another tip Garstang Road into chaos? Well, one's the local Indian restaurant and another is a fancy bistro. The other two are The Black Bull, an Ember Inn and Crafty Beggars, the local micropub. While the latter is a Pravha palace, a source of rampant disorder it is not.
So why the vehement objections? My view is it comes down to Fulwood itself. As a resident myself, I'd hesitate to describe it as Nimby Central, but it's certainly odd as far as amenities go. There's no chippy, no takeaways and if anyone ever proposes building anything to solve the area's chronic parking issues, the locals have the plans firmly squashed. They just want the area to remain the same, for ever. This causes problems, and when it does, they want the problems sent elsewhere. Preferably the city centre or the less wealthy areas.
Quiet residential road

If the crowds at Crafty Beggars are anything to go by, Fulwood could easily support another micropub (the local alternatives being the Ember, a Sizzling and a Hungry Horse). It's true these are clustered together near the A6, but being overwhelmingly residential, the streets are too narrow anywhere else to locate a business with a reasonable amount of footfall.
For me personally, I'm more concerned that a newsagent thinks he can run a pub.


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