Friday, December 5, 2014

News: New Templeborough pub plan


Greene King, the country's leading pub retailer and brewer, is planning a new Hungry Horse pub restaurant at Templeborough in Rotherham which would serve up 60 new jobs on a site where plans for a hotel and restaurant have previously been refused.

The Bury St. Edmunds group operates a range of pubs, restaurants and hotels, including the Hungry Horse and Old English Inns brands. Its brewing company produces Abbot Ale and Greene King IPA.

The Hungry Horse brand was established in 1995 and has 220 sites nationally with a focus on providing a family friendly restaurant and public house where the majority of customers will dine rather than visit solely for a drink.

Greene King posted record sales and profits in the year to May 2014. Revenue was up 8.9% to £1.3 billion and operating profit before exceptional items was up 7.0% to £265.6m. Today it reported interim revenues up 3.3% to £614.9m for the 24 weeks to October 19 2014. The group operates 1,904 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland, of which 1,040 are retail pubs, restaurants and hotels, and 864 are tenanted, leased and franchised pubs. It has a healthy pipeline of new sites and expects 1,070 retail sites by July 2015 as part of a five year plan to reach 1,100.

The Rotherham application seeks planning permission for the erection of a 9,000 sq ft single unit for use as a 200-cover family restaurant / public house. The plans, drawn up by Walsingham Planning and JDA Architects, also include car parking and landscaping works and a children's play area. In addition, a manager's flat and assistant manager's flat is proposed on the first floor of the development.

Plans state that the proposed restaurant / public house will create 60 new jobs (20 full-time and 40 part-time positions). Greene King has a strong partnership with Jobcentre Plus and in association with them, looks to recruit staff to the premises from the local area around the site with a particular focus on the long term unemployed.

Agents Knight Frank believe that, given the current office market, office development is "not viable nor will it be for the foreseeable future on the site" and so other development possibilities have come forward. Templeborough is a regenerated business location at the site of the former steelworks which fits Greene King's business model. Rotherham's Ring O Bells became a Hungry Horse in 2012 and a new venue is due to open at Broadfields Business Park in Sheffield next month.

The Phoenix Riverside site is owned by successful brownfield developer, St Paul's Developments and in 2013 Rotherham Council's planning board agreed that Whitbread's plans for a 80-bed Premier Inn hotel and restaurant at the same Templeborough site should be refused, with planners considering a number of sites, including a site currently used for car parking at New York Stadium, are preferable sites for a hotel in planning terms.

Sequential tests ensure that development is located in the most sustainable location first (usually in town centres), before other, less sustainable locations are chosen. In this case the applicants state that there are no sequentially preferable sites for a Hungry Horse pub restaurant and discount sites such as the Guest & Chrimes building, the former Liquid nightclub, Drummond Street car park and the former abattoir site in the town centre.

The applicants also state that the development would "not have an unacceptable adverse impact on existing, committed and planning investment in restaurants and public houses in the catchment of the development nor will it have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of Rotherham town centre."

Across town, a licence application has been submitted by Mitchells and Butlers for its planned Toby Carvery on the vacant one hectare site in Eastwood that was previously home to a D.C. Cook car dealership but has been empty since 2008 following demolition.

Greene King website

Images: Hungry Horse / Facebook


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