Micro-pub plans refused

Date published: 12 August 2019

Plans to establish a micro-pub in Smithy Bridge by transforming a former bakery have been refused by Rochdale Borough Council.

The applicants proposed transforming 71 Smithy Bridge Road, which had a bakery on the ground floor and an apartment on the first floor, into a micro-pub.

The plans were refused at the council's latest planning committee on Thursday (8 August) in accordance with officer recommendation.

The planning officer said: “The proposed micro-pub use would likely generate external noise through the comings and goings of customers and activities such as smoking outside the premises.

“The noise created through such activities would create a harmful level of disturbance for adjoining residents, in particular the existing and future occupants of the first floor flat at 71a Smithy Bridge Road.”

Applicants Janet and Mike Davies, who own the flat above and the two houses next to the former bakery, said: “The micro-pub in Smithy Bridge won't be going ahead; the committee had a vote and it was 7/6 against.

“When we were told that planning had decided to refuse our application, we were quite shocked and asked if the decision could go to council committee, as we had been told councillors had ‘called the plans in’ and had wanted it to go to committee but apparently it had been called in too late to do so.

“However, after speaking by email with the planning manager, she decided because of the interest from the public, she would allow it to go to the council meeting. The planning public consultation showed 103 people in support and 34 objectors.

“We don’t want our village ending up a village full of takeaways nor do we want it to become a ghost town.”

Objections to the micro-pub included concerns over proximity of residential properties, disturbance caused to neighbours with young children, noise levels, potential antisocial behaviour and disturbances and lack of parking.

However, support for the scheme included comments that it would provide a community space for local residents, attract customers from Rochdale and Calderdale, and boost local economy whilst enhancing the area.

It was also cited that “similar establishments in Littleborough, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and Castleton have a lovely feel to them and attract a good clientele”.

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