Thursday, January 14, 2016

News: Eastwood pub conversion moves on

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Updated plans that would enable the Cranworth Hotel in Rotherham to be converted into a retail outlet have been submitted by One Stop Stores Limited - the convenience store business that is a subsidiary of Tesco.

The business has over 750 shops and focuses "on being the best store for customers in the neighbourhood." Operating a successful franchise model, a number of independent stores have transformed to become part of the One Stop brand.

The Punch Taverns property had been advertised for sale by Barnsdales and detailed plans were first submitted in 2014 as the Eastwood pub was under the threat of closure. They detailed alterations to the front elevation and improvement to the parking area.

The plans attracted opposition and a petition of over 1,000 names objecting to the plans as they believed that they would lead to a change of use of the public house to a convenience store.

Under national rules, a change of use of a building from a Public House (Class A4) to a shop (Class A1) would be classed as "permitted development" and would not require planning permission.

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The plans were refused by the planning board at Rotherham Council who decided that the alterations were "not in character with the use of the building as a public house and would have a detrimental impact on the external appearance and character of the building." The vote came after planners at Rotherham Council concluded that replacing the existing entrance with a glazing panel and a new double sliding door entrance was acceptable in planning terms.

Revisions were made to plans to ensure that the original character of the building is preserved and that the front elevation of Cranworth Hotel by virtue of its design and materials would form an acceptable alteration.

The decision was appealed by the applicants and the pub closed shortly after. Following a site visit in 2015, the appeal was allowed and planning permission for the alterations was granted.

In her report, planning inspector Louise Crosby, said: "The building is currently in use as a public house, but there are fears by the landlady and many local residents that the property will be changed to a small express style supermarket if this appeal is allowed. The change of use of the building is not a matter before me. Moreover, the change of use of a public house to a shop can take place without the need for planning permission."

The latest plans from One Stop Stores, drawn up by consultants at calfordseaden LLP, are for the installation of new entrance doors, an ATM, the removal of two windows to side elevation, external security store to the side of the building, and external air conditioning units.

Research by The Rotherham Civic Society shows that The Cranworth Hotel was opened on Fitzwilliam Road in September 1934 and the first landlord was William Humphries.

One Stop website

Images: Barnsdales

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