Rejected plan to build houses in Telford pub beer garden is revived
An “over-large and poorly-located” Telford beer garden could house three new homes if a planning appeal is successful.
The Hare and Hounds, on Holyhead Road, Oakengates, has nearly an acre of under-utilised surplus land at the rear.
Pub and bar operator Punch Partnerships Ltd applied to build three detached two-storey homes in June, but Telford & Wrekin Council turned down the proposal in October.
Her Majesty’s Planning Inspectorate has allowed the Burton-based company to appeal, and will make a decision in the new year.
A design statement, submitted with the original application, said: “The site comprises 0.352 hectares of broadly rectangular-shaped under-utilised surplus land currently used as a beer garden, located to the northeastern rear of the Hare and Hounds public house.”
All three proposed houses would have three bedrooms and a the pub would retain a smaller garden at the front.
Oakengates Town Council made no comment on the proposal, but Telford & Wrekin Council rejected it. An appraisal document written by planning officers said: “The local planning authority consider that the location and siting of the development is inappropriate as it is a form of backland development which would result in the unnecessary fragmentation of the curtilage of the public house.”
Punch Partnerships’ appeal case statement, written by planning agent Mark Walton, disputed this “as the proposed development would be located behind the public house, having no impact on the appearance of it or the street scene as a whole”.
The council also said “the proposal would fail to represent the overriding character of the area and would be out of keeping with the street scene”.
Mr Walton pointed out that the surrounding area of Holyhead Road has been built and redeveloped in a piecemeal way, with large areas of green space and no uniformity in the built form of properties.
The council appraisal added the development could also result in significant detrimental impacts on the viability of the pub and “increased pressure” on it.
Punch Partnerships argues that private businesses like pubs are not considered community facilities in the Telford & Wrekin Local Plan – unlike educations, healthcare, leisure and religious sites - so the council is wrong to invoke this policy in relation to pub viability.
A government-appointed inspector will visit the site while considering the appeal, and Punch Partnerships and Telford & Wrekin Council have until January 20, to send the final versions of their case.