Plans to convert Whitburn's Grey Horse pub building into shop and flats set for approval

Plans to transform a former village pub into a shop and flats could be given the go-ahead next week.

By Chris Binding
Monday, 11th November 2019, 10:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 11:53 am
The Grey Horse, Whitburn
The Grey Horse, Whitburn

The Grey Horse in Whitburn is a familiar sight for people travelling up the coast road between Sunderland and South Shields.

Following a closure by pub firm Greene King in February, the property was bought by investment company Grey Horse Inn Limited.

Later this month, South Tyneside Council’s planning committee will discuss plans to revamp the site.

This includes converting the ground floor of the building into a shop and creating two flats upstairs, alongside former manager’s accommodation.

Developers aim to open the shop as a small convenience store carrying a range of groceries, snacks, alcohol and fresh produce.

The venture is expected to create up to 20 full and part-time jobs.

According to planning studies provided by the applicant, refurbishing the pub would have been too costly – with a £200,000 bill for necessary works.

The study also notes the village is served by another pub, The Jolly Sailor, a short distance away.

Deputy council leader and Whitburn and Marsden councillor, Tracey Dixon, called in the application to the planning committee on the grounds of road access and deliveries.

During a consultation, three objection letters were submitted questioning the need for the development and raising concerns about traffic disruption.

South Tyneside Council planners, recommending the plans for approval, said the proposals would be an “acceptable redevelopment of this site.”

If approved, an existing car park on site, accessed from Croftside Avenue, will be reconfigured to provide 19 spaces and six ‘Sheffield type’ cycle racks.

The Grey Horse is also classed as a ‘locally significant heritage asset’.

Under planning conditions, no development will be allowed to take place until photographic historic building recording is carried out inside.

In addition, no changes are proposed to the building’s external appearance except for signage sympathetic to its conservation area location.

Councillors will make a final decision on the plans on on Monday, November 18.

The meeting starts at 10.30am at South Shields Town Hall and members of the public are welcome.