Plans to build new homes on a pub car park are set to go ahead – despite concerns about highway safety and potential noise complaints.
Developer Mr Jatta has applied for permission to build two new homes on the car park of the Priory, on Abbotts Road in the Haregate area of Leek.
Now planning officers at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council are set to approve the scheme after planning officers recommended it was given the go-ahead.
A previous plan for new homes on the site had been thrown out – with that decision later overturned on appeal.
Councillor Charlotte Atkins was one of a number of people to write to the district council objecting to the new scheme.
In her objection she wrote: “This application to build two houses on the car park of the Priory Public House is likely to cause some conflict between the new home owners and the longstanding tenants of The Priory unless measures can be introduced to reduce noise disturbance.
“The licensee Teena Birch and her husband Barry have run the public house for nine years and have worked hard to make it a truly community hub.
“They have an excellent reputation as highly responsible licensees and, as such, have worked well with all their neighbours and the police.
“The local community cannot afford to lose a pub like The Priory. My concern is that the complaints of the new neighbours will impact on the day to day running of the public house.
“That must not be allowed to happen. It is the public house owners who have sold off this plot of land, not the licensees who should, therefore, not be adversely affected.
“The Priory sits at the busy road junction of Abbotts Road and Novi Lane. So it is vital that the additional cars from this development do not impact adversely on safety, particularly pedestrian safety.”
The Priory’s licensee Teena Birch also wrote to the council to voice her concerns – saying she felt the Priory had ‘not been considered’ in the application.
The objection letter added; “We have resided at this address for almost nine years. During this time we have not only built a trade up from almost closure, but in doing so we have maintained good relations with our neighbours and the police.
“The property itself consists of a function room, indoor sports area, bar and children’s area.
“Over the years it has become more and more difficult to keep our doors open but with the closure of Ball Haye Green Club (which was on our estate) we have adapted our business to work for the community.”
The letter said the pub hosted many community events and took measures to avoid excess noise – including asking customers to use the side it.
It added: “It might be a novelty to buy a house on a pub car park, but how long before complaints come in? We can’t please everyone and no matter how quiet we ask our customers to leave, you can’t quiet a car engine.”
In a design and access statement the developer said: “The proposals contained within this application are very similar to the previous proposals approved at appeal. The site has previously been acceptable for the principle of residential development for 2no. new dwellings.
“The proposals provide a contribution to the local authorities lack of new housing supply. Planning approval would see the proposal contained within this application commence in the next 12 months and re-development of a vacant site bordering Leek town centre.”
Leek Town Council also recommended the plan be refused, saying they had ‘access safety and car parking concerns’.
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council are set to make a decision on the application at their planning committee on Thursday March 12.