PLANS to turn part of a pub into a car showroom have been approved, despite Councillors acknowledging the unusual nature of the application.
At an online meeting of Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee this week members gave the go ahead for a scheme that will see the change of use to a section of the Hand and Shuttle pub on Tong Street.
The application, submitted by T Khan, will see part of the building remain a pub – but a single storey lounge area and much of the pub car park would become a car showroom.
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An existing entrance to the pub site from Tong Street would be blocked up, and access to the new business would be via Rook Lane.
The area that makes up the car showroom would be fenced off.
At Monday’s Committee meeting one Councillor said the plans offered an unusual solution to keeping a large pub viable.
There had been a number of objections to the plans from local residents. Twenty three people had written to the Council to object, with one letter signed by 27 people.
They raised concerns about the extra traffic the new business could cause, fears that traffic could overspill onto Rook Lane and some said the business would reduce the value of their homes.
One objector said the plans would result in the loss of a children’s play area.
But a report to the committee had recommended the plans be approved, saying: “The proposed car sales business would allow new employment and would meet with Government’s aims where planning decisions should help create the conditions in which businesses can invest, expand and adapt.”
Planning officer Mark Hutchinson told the Committee: “The claim that this will lead to the loss of a play space for children is slightly puzzling as this site doesn’t include any children’s play space.”
He said blocking off access from the pub site to Tong Street, one of Bradford’s busiest roads, was a “significant benefit” of the plan.
Members were told that the proposed opening hours for the car showroom would be 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on a Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.
Chair of the Committee Councillor David Warburton (Lab, Wyke) said: “It is interesting – a change of use of part of a pub to a car sales room, but this is the time we live in.”
Councillor Geoff Reid (Lib Dem, Eccleshill) said: “This is an interesting one. The situation for many pubs in the District is they are either blessed or cursed with an excess of capacity.
“If this proposal will make the pub business more viable then it has to be a benefit.”
The committee unanimously approved the plans.