New lease of life could await former pubs

Date published: 14 January 2019

Rochdale has lost nearly half its pubs since the turn of the century, but a new at lease of life could await two former hostelries.

Recent planning applications include proposals to convert the buildings for new purposes far removed from serving pints and shorts.

The Castle Inn, in Manchester Road, has not opened its doors since October 2010.

But plans have now been submitted to Rochdale Council to convert the former pub into ‘eight self-contained flats with a residential supervisor.

A design and access statement accompanying the application, made by Mushtaq Hussain, claims the proposal represents ‘a desirable and necessary improvement to the existing site’.

The former pub has been hit by vandalism in recent years, and the redevelopment would involve extensive repairs, including the re-roofing of the building and replacing the windows and doors.

As well as the eight apartments, there would also be accommodation for care staff, as some of the future occupiers ‘may have special educational needs’.

Some 15 new car parking spaces will also be created.

The statement asserts that the site is ‘wholly appropriate’ for the development which ‘would not affect local amenities or have an adverse effect on nearby properties or highway safety’.

‘Presenting a development that will maintain the character and appearance of the surrounding area’.

However, an objection to the application has been lodged, complaining that residents in nearby St Albans Court have not be consulted on the plans, and raising concerns over parking and ‘the type of residents that will be living there’.

Meanwhile, over in Middleton there could be further changes at The Assheton Arms.

The Assheton Arms, Long Street, Middleton
The Assheton Arms, Long Street, Middleton

It now operates purely as a B&B, rather than a pub, and an application has been made to convert the vacant games room and bar area into a launderette.

A design and access statement accompanying Tariq Aziz’s application says there is a ‘high level of demand’ for such a service from the local community.

The document adds that the ground-floor launderette conversion ‘would not have an adverse impact on the character and appearance’ of the Market Place area, and ‘materials would match those of existing dwelling’.

It concludes this ‘will improve the appearance of both the site and the street scene’.

A summary of the scheme adds: “The proposals will result in numerous benefits which are not significantly and demonstrably outweighed by any adverse impacts.”

No objections to the application have been lodged to date.

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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