Green light for plan to convert Evenwood pub into shop
PLANS to convert a former village pub into a convenience store have been given the green light.
In December, an application was lodged with Durham County Council to change the use of The Bay Horse Inn, off Manor Street, in Evenwood.
The pub has been vacant for some time and the new shop plans aim to bring jobs back to the site.
As part of the development, a new shop front was proposed alongside plans to remove the original bay window and porch and replace them with a door.
During consultation however, the plans sparked five objections from neighbours with concerns ranging from parking and anti-social behaviour to litter.
Evenwood and Barony Parish Council was among those to object.
Other comments stated that the application was “part retrospective” and questioned the need for another convenience store in the village.
After considering comments, Durham County Council’s planning department has approved plans.
Planners stated that the development was acceptable in terms of design and parking availability and would “bring the building back into use and secure its future”.
A report added that a shop was a “compatible use within residential areas” and that commercial competition was not a “material planning ground” that could be taken into account.
The report added: “There is a large forecourt area to the front of the premises off the adopted highway which has historically been used for parking.
“Comments have been received over the way vehicles visiting neighbouring premis-es park on this area.
“In consideration of the concerns raised it is accepted that the proposed opening of a shop in this location will undoubtedly attract more pedestrian activity at the junction at varying times of the day.
“In general, while the increased pedestrian activity accessing the shop would increase the risk of an accident, this is not considered significant to warrant a highway refusal on grounds of impact on highway safety.
“Senior colleagues within the council’s highway section have assessed the details and have raised no issue with this aspect of the proposal.”
Planning conditions include restricting opening hours to 6am to 11pm, seven days a week.