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Plans to turn Sheen pub into dwelling is refused

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 21, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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PLANS to turn a village pub and restaurant into a house have been refused by planners.

A planning application had been submitted to the Peak District National Park Authority for the change of use of The Staffordshire Knott pub and restaurant, pictured, in Sheen.

No external alterations were proposed and the only anticipated internal alteration was the removal of the bar. The car park to the south of the inn would be used as domestic curtilage.

However, the Park Park has now announced that it has refused planning permission for the change of use.

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A decision notice issued by the authority said: "The submitted details fail to demonstrate that the public house is no longer required, can no longer be viable or that the facilities offered by The Staffordshire Knott Inn would be reasonably available elsewhere in the area.

"Furthermore, the submitted details fail to demonstrate that alternative uses to meet community needs have ben properly considered.

"In the absence of sufficient evidence to demonstrate the proposals meet the requirement policy, and in particular, failure to demonstrate that an alternative community use of the building including affordable housing to meet local needs would not be viable, the proposed loss of a valued community facility would fail to respect the statutory duty placed on the National Park Authority to address the social and economic needs of the National Park's communities."

A supporting statement to planners said: "The current owner started trading at The Staffordshire Knott in 2000 and, initially, the business was profitable, benefiting mainly from the restaurant trade, pulling in customers from a wide area due to the high standard of the cuisine.

"Local drinking trade has never been a strong element in the turnover and there is now virtually no local trade from within the village. The downturn in the local economy has had a major impact on trade since 2007 with declining receipts and increasing costs.

"This is, of course, true to many public houses as evidenced by the many pubs which now stand vacant."

The building dates back to the 17th century and the reports states the premises needs continual maintenance, but that no funds are available to carry out repairs, therefore a danger exists that it could fall into disrepair unless a sale is achieved.

The pub was originally advertised with an asking price of £550,000. The planning statement adds: "The premises have been extensively marketed through a range of initiatives with specialist estate agencies since 2007 and the selling price, which has reflected the authorised use, has been progressively reduced during that time.

"It has been made clear that offers below the advertised price would be considered. Despite these efforts, there has been no interest whatsoever from any potential purchaser. Not one viewing has taken place.

"Reluctantly, therefore, the owner has concluded that, in the absence of interest from anyone wishing to continue to operate the business, she must seek the change of use."

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