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House plan for old village pub

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 26, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

The Staffordshire Knott.

The Staffordshire Knott.

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PROPOSALS have been put forward which could see the closure of a village pub and its conversion into a house.

A planning application has been submitted to the Peak District National Park Authority for the change of use of The Staffordshire Knott pub and restaurant in Sheen into a residential dwelling.

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

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

"The owner has a track record of profitable trading.

"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 £550,00. 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.

"The loss of the public house will have no bearing on community facilities for the village as virtually no use has been made of the pub or restaurant by people from the community. In the last two years it is estimated that on only six occasions have village residents patronised The Staffordshire Knott."

A support letter has also been submitted to planners from nearby residents.

The letter said: "We have resided near The Staffordshire Knott for 15 years and have watched the decline in custom.

"The impact on the village would almost be unnoticeable as very few residents visit the premises, and the property is declining through lack of maintenance, so a decision to turn the premises into a residential dwelling would be most welcome by ourselves."

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