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The Dee Miller public house was built in the late 1950’s and

formed part of the development of the housing estate we

know today as Kingsway.  At the time the brewery in

conjunction with Chester Council ensured that a covenant

secured the premises and its grounds for the specific

benefit of the community and to this date that and the

Land Registry documentation continues to support this use.

In the 1960’s, 70’s and through to the millennium it

formed a focal point for the community to gather and in its

many years has seen a variety of landlords take the helm.

In the 1980’s an internal redevelopment seen a change in

configuration with a switch around with the bar and lounge

areas, and also the removal of the small ‘snug’ area which had seen many an enjoyable evening experienced by the older residents of the area.

A firm favourite also with local Saturday and Sunday League football teams, seeing post match gatherings from the likes of Newton Athletic, The Liver and players from across the district.   All shaping just one part of a thriving popular public house.  Darts, Pool and Bagatelle Teams also brought enjoyment to many and the Dee Miller Teams in all disciplines were a force to be reckoned with as the plethora of trophies which were on display would prove.

As the world of the local public house changed along with the introduction of cheap supermarket beer, spirits and wines many were feeling the strain as footfall number diminished making it hard for landlords to attract customers.  A very competitive market place emerged and with some well known big chains dominating and undercutting beer prices the long term future of the local estate public house model was in jeopardy.  Regrettably after much effort from a number of recent landlords the doors on the Dee Miller finally closed in February 2018 leaving the pub itself and the adjacent house unoccupied.

In more recent years Chester University made an attempt to purchase the site with a view to convert into a ‘Sports Bar’ for the use of students.  However, the objections presented by KANRA on behalf of the residents meant that not only did the planning conditions prove too difficult, moreover the covenant of ‘maintaining for the benefit of the community’ could not be met fully and the University decided to withdraw their plans.

Moving forward to 2020 an approach was made by a development company to purchase the site with a view to redeveloping a section of the public house into a retail premises and discussions were opened with various parties including KANRA.  Knowing the background of the covenant placed on the site the developers were keen to seek a way forward to ensure compliance with this and in doing so presented an option which would ensure that the facility would still have community use and thus benefit the community.   The outcome being and agreement to maintain a proportion of the public house building (the old lounge area) for community use.  Given this KANRA supported the ideas and offered their approval.

The area used by KANRA will be a facility based on a Community Centre model and central hub for a variety of uses, all for the benefit of the community.

What Next?

Work will soon begin on the site (2022) and in doing so will see the old bar area being redeveloped into a retail outlet which will complement the other businesses surrounding the ‘Kingsway Shopping Parade’

KANRA have a great deal of work to do, and this will involve a number of roles.  Firstly, by creating a Board of Trustees who will oversee and guide the project to convert and open the Community Centre and then a number of more hands on volunteer roles.

We need people to be involved as soon as possible, so hit the link below to send your details and how you can help, or drop into the Community Hub for more details.

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