Whitburn's Blue's Micro Pub granted planning permission for new 'snug room' and beer garden - with hopes to complete work by April

Plans for a new beer garden and more inside space at a popular micro pub in Whitburn Village have been given the green light.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 5:56 pm

South Tyneside Council’s planning department has approved plans for big changes at Blue’s Micro Pub, off Percy Terrace in the village.

The venture proved a welcome one for the village, particularly as it came after the Grey Horse pub over the road closed down for good. The closed pub is now home to a new Co-op store.

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Alice Pye and Callum Watson, who opened Blue's Micro Pub in Whitburn Village

However, Blue’s only had around seven weeks of ‘normal’ trade before the first national lockdown came into force to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Blue’s, opened by Alice Pye and Callum Watson, said the plans would create two new jobs and allow them to welcome more customers, all while continuing to operate in a Covid-safe way when lockdown restrictions on the hospitality sector are eased.

It hopes to have the revamp and extra space completed for April. The provisional date for reopening pub beer gardens under Boris Johnson’s roadmap is April 12.

A basic CGI image of how the bar will look after the changes

During a council planning consultation, the proposals received mixed views from the public.

Concerns from some neighbours on Adolphus Street included potential noise and disturbance from the proposed beer garden, particularly during the summer months.

Other concerns included customers accessing the beer garden from the rear lane and Rackly Way and customers ‘spilling out’ and gathering on neighbouring streets.

Meanwhile, several supporting comments said the works were vital in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and would make the business more viable.

Alice Pye and Callum Watson shortly after Blue's Micro Pub first opened in early 2020

After considering all comments and evidence, South Tyneside Council’s planning department approved the application on Monday, February 23, 2021 – the same day the Government set out its roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions.

According to a decision report, the micro pub will restrict the use of the beer garden for patrons to 8pm for the whole week.

In addition, the rear gate to the yard will not be accessible to customers.

The decision report states these measures will “ensure that there is a minimal risk to the residential amenity of neighbouring residents.”

Inside Blue’s Micro Pub in Whitburn

The report goes on to say: “Should any complaints be received from neighbouring residents in terms of noise, these will be investigated under the appropriate legislation, be it the Environmental Protection Act 1990, or the Licensing Act 2004.”

In documents submitted to South Tyneside Council’s planning department, micro pub bosses stressed that their business plan remains unchanged.

This includes no loud amplified music, TVs or gaming machines, no alcopops or commercial draught lager and the promotion of responsible drinking.

Internal sound proofing will also be installed along the wall adjoining 2 Percy Terrace to the rear of the property, in line with a previous noise assessment.

In the meantime, the venue is running a takeaway ‘bottle shop’ from the front of the premises on certain days.

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