A group of campaigners are fighting to save a popular hotel and community centre which could be demolished under plans.

The Fairways Lodge Hotel, off Bury New Road in Prestwich, is in the process of being acquired by McCarthy Stone, which has submitted a bid to knock down the two-storey site and create a new building with 52 retirement living apartments.

A group of residents have launched a campaign to save the building, which not only served as a hotel but played host to a number of classes, community groups and sports clubs including the Prestwich Squash Club.

The site has existed as a hotel for around 20 years, during which it has had two tenants. Until 2004 it was known as The Village Hotel and Leisure Club.

Save the Fairways campaign member, Brenda Carthy, said the hotel “really brings the community together” and provides an essential space outside of Prestwich for people to meet.

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Bury Times: Campaigners says the Fairways Lodge should remain as a community spaceCampaigners says the Fairways Lodge should remain as a community space (Image: Brenda Carthy)

Brenda, who is retired and lives near to the hotel, said: “There's a lot of events there for the community and there’s going to be so many people put out if they have their way and they close it down.”

Brenda added that the proposed retirement complex is not a necessity for the community, as there are many similar facilities nearby as well a new housing development on George Street which has recently been completed.

She added: “This was an ideal spot for me as I was retired and I had a community down the road, but now it's all going be taken away.

“It impacts on my whole family my daughter and her young child goes there and because its just near-by we can walk and we don’t have to get in our car.”

The plans were lodged for the potential new homes to the council in February and a public consultation has gathered more than 100 objections from residents, with many emphasising the hotel’s wide range of community uses.

Daniel Blan, a squash coach and player who uses the courts at Fairways Lodge, says the hotel provides essential space for a growing sport which is regularly used by professional players.

He said: “Fairways Lodge is one of only four clubs in Lancashire with four courts and is one of the biggest venue areas of any club in England being able to seat 170 spectators.

“We have hosted the Northern Joe Cup [a professional squash tournament] for the last two years, which has raised around £15,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity.

“Squash has for the first time in Olympics history been included for the 2028 Los Angeles Games, this should be a great time for squash, and not the time to be closing established clubs and courts.”

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The importance of inclusive sports facilities has been echoed by other residents, who say it provides leisure facilities, which are otherwise limited in the town.

Wayne Tierney, a support worker assists with three young people from the nearby Langdon Community, on Rectory Lane, which cares for people with learning disabilities.

He says the gyms at the Lodge provide a supportive environment for those who use the service.

Wayne said: “They and myself use the gym at Fairways, my three lads are able to go by themselves if I'm not working or in the gym. They can go and feel safe not get laughed at like they used to in other gyms.

“The staff are fantastic with them.

“Most of our people at Langdon have mobility issues it would be very difficult for them to go elsewhere.

"The Fairways is like a community hub it’s a great place and would be a real shame to see it go.”

McCarthy Stone has been contacted for comment. 

A planning statement says the proposed "retirement living complex" will offer "elegant low maintenance apartments for sale or rent exclusive to the over 60s".

It added: “The proposal aims to allow homeowners to relocate to a property ideally suited to their needs, while freeing up existing family housing for local people.

“This minimises the need for further development elsewhere in the borough.”