Grantham: Town centre pub redevelopment plan

  Posted: 30.07.21 at 10:10 by The Editor

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An empty Grantham town centre pub could be converted into a cafe/restaurant, with a HMO (house of multiple occupation) on the upper floors.

A planning application has been submitted concerning the Blue Bull, on the corner of 'wide' Westgate and Dysart Road, which has remained empty since it closed in 2015.

JS Kerr Build Ltd of Grantham wants to demolish an existing single storey extension and outbuilding; erect a new ground floor extension and second floor dormer windows.

The company also seeks to change the use of the site from pub to form a ground floor drinking establishment and restaurants and cafes, with a larger HMO on first and second floor.

The application to South Kesteven District Council says the existing rear extensions do not contribute any positive attributes to the conservation area.

Redeveloping the site would create 8 one-bed bedsit studios and a business create the equivalent of 5 full-time jobs on the 659m2 site.

Picture courtesy of Google Street View

The overall building dates from the 18th century, the application continued, with it becoming a pub in the 19th century. Most of the site is in the Grantham Conservation Area but the building is not listed, nor is it seen as important.

The building has been empty for years and extensive marketing has failed to find any interest in keeping it as a pub. There are also other pubs nearby and the building has not been listed as an asset of community value.

Creating the HMOs would help fulfil a need for low-cost entry-level housing in the town centre and combined with an extended ground floor use (for use as a café / bar / restaurant), would be an appropriate and viable long-term use of the building, and one that will ensure its continued contribution to the vitality of the town centre and the character and appearance of the conservation area.

Using the upper floors as an HMO would not conflict with SKDC planning policies, it said, and the building had residential use as a pub.

It said: "Increased residential occupancy in town centre areas is recognised as a positive planning measure, contributing to town centre character and vitality."

The town centre location was appropriate and the HMO occupants would typically not need a car, with facilities easily accessible by foot.

The application continued: "The proposals in this instance will result in no loss of significance to heritage assets. Indeed, by conversion and re-use of the building, its long terms future, and its contribution to the character and appearance of the locality will be assured."

The main building would largely remain as now, and the rear "rear orangery extension introduces a high quality secondary façade to the building, with a parapetted flat roof design, with roof lanterns.

"In its particular context, the extension design is considered appropriately and will uplift a poor-quality rear elevation to the built, set alongside what has become, since the opening of the adjoining retail park, a busy pedestrian thoroughfare."

Whilst some areas have has issues with large numbers of HMOs, this is not the case in Grantham as they are not over concentrated in certain areas.

The application concluded: "The appraisal process has identified a clear and justified design and access solution for the site. This has been based upon an appraisal of the site and the surrounding area. It has drawn upon the physical context of the site and the surrounding area.

"The proposed development is considered to represent an appropriate re-use of an important and prominent building. The proposed food and drink / residential use is consistent with relevant national and local planning policies and will result in no demonstrable harm to the locality or to adjoining residential amenity.

"The development will result in no adverse or detrimental highways impacts. The development represents an appropriate re-use of a previously developed site in a highly accessible, sustainable location. "

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