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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Plan to turn empty pub into restaurant is approved

A listed pub can be converted into a restaurant – with planners saying the “meeting place” provided by the pub “would not be completely lost” by the change.

The Black Swan in Frizinghall dates back to the mid-1800s, and has operated as a pub since the 1890s.

It shut early last year due to the rising costs facing pub businesses.

A proposal to convert the Grade II listed building into a restaurant and bedsits on the upper floor was refused by Bradford Council later that year, with officers saying the flats would offer “poor living conditions.”

Referring to the pub’s listed status, Conservation Officer Jon Ackroyd said: “The public house use is a part of the social history of the building and its presence in the locality.

“The change of use to an alternative use from public house must be accompanied by a compelling case, which is not evident in the submitted documentation.”

New plans were submitted earlier this year, scrapping the bedsit element and pointing out that the pub’s trade was declining before it shut.

There had been one objection, raising concerns about the loss of a community facility, litter and the lack of cycle parking spaces.

One letter of support had been received, saying the business had failed as a pub, and a restaurant would be a more viable use.

The new plans have now been approved, with officers saying the restaurant use would mean the building remains accessible to the public – even if its time as a pub has come to an end.

Approving the plans, officers said: “The agent has provided some justification in that the building has been empty now for several months and a decline in the trade/use of public houses and demographic makeup has made it difficult to continue in this trade.

“The national planning policy framework seeks to provide the social, recreational and cultural facilities and services the community needs. Planning decisions should plan positively for the provision and use of shared spaces, community facilities (such as local shops, meeting places, sports venues, open space, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship) and other local services to enhance the sustainability of communities and residential environments.

“In terms of offering a community facility and meeting place, this would not be completely lost and given that the building has been left empty for several months this would justify the change from the historical use as a public house.”

One condition of the approval is that the restaurant can only open between the hours of 10am and 11pm.

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