A FORMER councillor has called on locals to give him a chance after he got the go-ahead to open a new pub in Clayton-le-Moors.
John Burke, who lost his Clayton seat in last May's election, was given the green light to turn the Basement restaurant in Mill Street into a pub at a licensing meeting on Wednesday.
The permission was granted despite objections from two residents.
Shirley Ogden, of Canal Street, and Nigel O'Rourke, of Collingwood, voiced concerns that the pub would lead to an increase in juvenile nuisance.
Mrs Ogden, manager of the Spring Brook sheltered housing scheme, said: "I'm not against the place being a restaurant.
"We already have lots of trouble from vandals in Mill Street. We have broken bottles and windows have been smashed. That is why we oppose it. We have to put up with the problems and can't see things improving with another pub in the area."
Mr O'Rourke, who runs the Open All Flowers shop in Whalley Road, also questioned the need for yet another pub in the area, saying: "I feel the provision for what Mr Burke is proposing is already here in Clayton. We have enough pubs and off-licences.
"I just feel it isn't ideally situated. Nobody has ever made a success of that building."
But Mr Burke, who previously ran the Albion pub in Whalley Road, Clayton, has pledged to do his damnedest to keep problems to a minimum.
He has ploughed around £4,000 into refurbishing the building and intends to install security lights and clean up the side street. He is also aiming to install a ramp to allow disabled customers access.
The pub will be able to accommodate 40 people and he plans to stock a range of specialist beers, wines and spirits. He said: "I am delighted to have got permission and it's a big relief. I want everyone to know that my door is always open if there are any problems. I want this to be a community pub."
PC Les Sholicar, of Accrington Police, said: "There is nothing I can say to Mr Burke's detriment. He is a fit and proper person to hold a liquor licence.
"With regard to nuisance problems that exist, no-one has a crystal ball to say what may happen in the future. There is a juvenile nuisance problem in the area and our community beat manager is doing his utmost to address it."
Les Hardy, chairman of the Bench, said: "We share the community's concerns about public nuisance and we hope Mr Burke will work with the local community and police so any problems that occur can be minimised."