Plans refused for beer garden at Hebburn's Wardles Bar in the historic Albert Hotel building after raft of objections

Proposals for an enclosed beer garden area at a South Tyneside pub have been refused by council planning chiefs.

Back in February 2022, South Tyneside Council’s planning department registered an application for land adjacent to Wardles Bar, formerly the Albert Hotel, in the Hebburn area.

The proposals aimed to change the use of an open paved pedestrian area to a beer garden/seating area and children’s play area, surrounded by a 1.8-metre high close boarded timber fence.

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A design and access statement, submitted with the application, said the plans would create an “external family area for a maximum of approximately 24 people , 12 adults and 12 children”.

Wardles Bar (formerly The Albert Hotel), Albert Street, Hebburn.

The statement added the customer area would be enclosed to separate it from its surroundings and to “maintain control on the use of the area and particularly the noise levels and times of use”.

During consultation on the plans however, the application sparked eleven public objections with the majority coming from residents on William Street West.

The main concerns included noise, parking and antisocial behaviour, with one comment saying the beer garden would be “uncomfortably close to people’s homes and would do nothing but disrupt peaceful living”.

Some comments also described the proposed fence as an “eyesore” while others raised concerns that the site would become a smoking area rather than a family space.

The council’s environmental health officer advised that the activities associated with the land use would result in a “significant and harmful impact on residential amenity particularly in terms of noise and general disturbance.”

In a consultation statement, the council officer noted that the fence would not provide “adequate protection to noise from boisterous behaviour of patrons” during proposed opening times of 11am-8pm.

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An objection was also received from Northumbria Police’s designing out crime officer based on the potential negative impact of the proposal on the amenity of residents.

After considering all representations, South Tyneside Council’s planning department refused plans for the enclosed beer garden on March 25, 2022.

The main issues raised by council planners included the impact on residential amenity and the lack of information about potential heritage impacts.

The planning decision report reads: “The proposed land use, due to its nature and activities associated with it, would not be sympathetic to its locality and instead it would be harmful to the residential amenity of the area in which it would form a part.

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“This harm is due to the close-proximity of the proposal in relation to neighbouring dwellings, the additional noise, comings and goings of customers, and general disturbance that would be generated by the proposed land use, along with the lack of control measures that would have otherwise restricted any intensification of the proposed land use that has been applied for such as; customer numbers, functions, beer festivals, BBQs, background music and related paraphernalia that may be brought to the site.”

As Wardles Bar, formerly the Albert Hotel, is a Grade II-listed building, planners advised the applicant that works to create a new door opening from the building to the proposed beer garden with a “ramped entrance feature” would require listed building consent.

According to planning documents, the applicant’s agent confirmed that a listed building consent application would be submitted, should the outcome of the beer garden application be “favourable”.

The decision report from council planners goes on to say: “Whilst the proposed door opening to the Wardles Bar falls outside the red line planning application site boundary and whilst no application for listed building consent has been submitted for consideration, the details provided in support of the proposed operational development at this application site are considered poor and lack detail.

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“No heritage statement has been provided and no details of the existing or proposed architectural detailing to support the proposed works have been submitted.”

The applicant has the right to challenge the council’s refusal decision by lodging an appeal with the Secretary of State.

For more information on the planning application and council ruling, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/1128/21/FUL

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