Historic Boldon Lad pub in Jarrow to become convenience store after controversial plans approved on appeal

Controversial proposals to convert a historic pub into a convenience store are set to go ahead following a ruling from a planning inspector.

Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 12:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 12:46 pm
Boldon Lad. Picture c/o Google Streetview

One reason for refusal included a lack of evidence that applicant Punch Partnerships had explored alternative town centre sites for a retail store.

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Meanwhile, residents’ concerns included the impacts of the proposed convenience store on the area – from increased traffic to noise issues.

Punch Partnerships later lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate with a government appointed inspector set to rule on the plans.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a planned public hearing was suspended with the appeal reverting to the normal written decision-making process.

On Tuesday June 23, planning inspector S Hunt allowed the appeal, meaning the development at the Boldon Lad can now go ahead.

In a written decision notice, the inspector said that on the basis of evidence, there were no “sequentially preferable” sites for the development within a 2km radius.

Hunt also noted the application was for a convenience store serving ‘day to day’ needs and ‘top up’ shopping within a local area and that a wider search for an alternative site was unnecessary.

The inspector’s report reads: “The proposals would provide social and economic benefits including employment opportunities and would represent an appropriate use of previously developed land in an accessible location.

“The proposal is in accordance with the framework as a whole and there are no material considerations which lead me to conclude otherwise.”

The Boldon Lad, which is around 100 years old, was once a thriving part of the community, with the first masses for St Joseph’s Catholic Church held there before the church was built.

According to the decision notice, a viability study established that the pub is “commercially unviable” and has not been designated as an “asset of community value.”

The planning inspector also amended council planning conditions for the development.

This included marking out parking spaces and delivery areas, providing cycle parking to promote sustainable travel and ruling that acoustic fencing is installed before the shop opens.

The report goes on to say: “Finally, to ensure that the scheme as implemented is materially the same as that for the sequential assessment and to justify its limited catchment area [I] have imposed a condition limiting the store to the sale of convenience goods only.”

Under planning conditions, the development must be brought forward within the next three years.

Approved opening hours include 8am-8pm, Monday to Saturday and 8am-5pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Deliveries at the site will be limited to 8am-8pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

An application for costs was also submitted by the appellant against South Tyneside Council for “substantive unreasonable behaviour”.

However, this was refused by the planning inspector in a separate decision.