Former pub where Dale Creegan shot Mark Short could be sold off by council

The former Droylsden pub where killer Dale Creegan assassinated Mark Short could soon be put up for sale by the town hall – but it will never be able to reopen as a public house.

The Cotton Tree pub on Market Street has been in the ownership of Tameside council since 2013, following issues around what a council report describes as ‘anti-social behaviour’.

Members of the cabinet have this week agreed to declare it ‘surplus to requirements’ and look at marketing it to be redeveloped.

Officers say they hope the sale of the former pub will raise £202,000.

Cabinet member for finance, Councillor Oliver Ryan said: “Any disposal of the former Cotton Tree public house is to include an absolute restriction or covenant restriction to stop it becoming a public house in future.

“That’s obviously because of historic issues around this property.”

In May 2012 a balaclava-clad Cregan walked into the pub searching for victim David Short, who was in the toilet.

He fired seven shots, blasting Short’s son Mark in the chest and shooting three other members of the family, John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher.

Cregan later went on to murder David Short at his house in Clayton, and then gunned down unarmed PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone after making a bogus 999 call from a house in Mottram.

Following 2013, The Cotton Tree, which sits opposite the tram stop in a prominent position in the town centre, was marketed by the council for an alternative use and from 2016 it became an Indian restaurant, with a ten year lease.

However council documents state that the tenant has not made any rental payments since March 2017 and there are now arrears of more than £29,000, and business rates arrears of more than £21,000.

The report states that the lessee has abandoned the property and their current whereabouts are ‘unknown’. 

Efforts to trace the operator of the restaurant have ‘thus far proved futile’, officers say.

Meanwhile the property, which has been left vacant and in a ‘derelict state’ is drawing complaints from neighbours who are suffering issues around damp, fly-tipping and antisocial behaviour.

The council has now agreed to formally terminate the lease and take back possession of the building.

According to the cabinet report, the authority has received interest from developers who want to buy the building and convert it into a retail and residential use.

Main image:

The former Cotton Tree pub on Market Street in Droylsden. Photo: Google Maps. 

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