Telford Pub owners told to pull pints or pull out

Telford Pub owners told to pull pints or pull out

The owners of a former village pub in Telford and Wrekin have been ordered to re-open it or vacate the premises by a planning inspector.

John Hickinbottom and Susan King have been given six months to re-instate the Cleveland Arms in High Ercall as a pub or vacate the premises.

The Cleveland Arms ceased trading in January 2016 but Mr Hickinbottom and Ms King have continued to reside in the property.

They have also carried out internal works including the removal of the bar and most of the ground floor interior.

The pub is listed as an Asset of Community Value and its loss is considered contrary to the policies of the Telford and Wrekin Local Plan.

An enforcement notice regarding the unauthorised change of use from public house to a residential dwelling was served on 2 March this year.

Mr Hickinbottom, Ms King and John Charles Homes Ltd appealed against the enforcement notice but this appeal was dismissed on 7 December 2018.

They now have six months to cease using the property as a house and leave or alternatively re-instate the property as a pub, at which point they could live in the first floor living area.

The decision by the planning inspectorate follows the dismissal of a planning appeal earlier in the year when planning permission was refused for the reconfiguration of the pub to a public house with dwellings.

9 thoughts on “Telford Pub owners told to pull pints or pull out

  • December 13, 2018 at 11:16 am
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    Gareth Evans, David Clinton – I’ve been wondering for ages what’s going on with this!

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  • December 13, 2018 at 11:55 am
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    Well about time too it is an eyesore to the village they should have got out ages ago and that beautiful bowling green now looks like a forest. Roll on six months time x x

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  • December 20, 2018 at 3:10 pm
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    -The business closed in 2016 after the owners had consulted a local structural engineering practice in October 2015. This was to check the loading on 2 beams that were found, when sanding & restoring the upstairs wooden floor, to have a point loading imposed on them from posts that directly support the main roof structure. This point loading was suspected to not have been properly accounted for in the RSJ beam design when originally installed in 1972. The roof had been fully insulated in 2013 by the current owners where previously there had been no insulation, which means a snow load would stay on the roof & not melt away as it would have previously.
    -During the survey, whilst the beam design proved satisfactory, the structural engineer identified serious deficiencies with the brick piers supporting the beams in the bar area. Structural calculations were then made to check these piers.
    The structural engineer’s conclusion follows in italics.
    The 338mm square pier is potentially at 103% capacity when full factored loads are applied. This is not recommended & additional support is required. The 215mm square pier is at 206% capacity when full factored loads are applied, the pier has so
    far not failed as the full loads (snow & people) have probably not yet been applied in real use; there is also a F.O.S. of approx. 1.5 applied to loads. However the pier is probably near to 100% in everyday use, there the pier should be strengthened.
    Methods of strengthening the walls should be discussed with the owner on site as several options are available, each with their own complication with regards to costs & intrusiveness.
    -The building could not be opened to the public whilst the main structural piers, supporting the entire western half of the building, were 206% overloaded. The C. Arms building could not comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The building has non-compliant fire walls & doors made of 3mm thick plywood & hardboard. There is no fire-safety compartmentalisation throughout the ground floor, especially in the false ceiling, & no protected route to safety from the upstairs accommodation. Regulatory fire compliance for the building in its current configuration & condition is impossible.
    -Major alteration works were undertaken in 1972, introducing many steel beams & a false ceiling, making the PH more open plan & reducing the main trade areas from five to three rooms.
    -In early Jan 2016 the C. Arms closed. The trading position was simply not recoverable following the structural deficiencies found in late 2015 & the inability to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
    -Two planning applications were made, both of which proposed to build a new, regulatory compliant pub; TWC/2016/1095 – retaining the bowling green & TWC/2017/0299 – proposing to build a brand new public house adjacent to the existing building & oriented north/south to the new car park. These would comply with both the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 & with Building Regs.
    -The proposed pubs would have had the same trade area as the existing, would have been far more efficient to operate, would have enabled a credible food offering & would have had a reasonable chance of becoming a viable business. These were not supported; by the relevant bodies nor others.
    -Acrow props were installed due to the structural problems; one bar was removed to accommodate this installation & the other bar remains in situ.
    – Following a visit by the Principal Building Control Surveyor from T&WC, on Thursday 22nd June 2017, it was agreed that the installation of a further 8 Acrow props would be necessary to fully support the building. This brings the total number of Acrow props supporting the western half of the structure to 34.
    -A significant question mark still remains over the stability of the main east gable wall; this may need another 12 props to support it.
    -A Building Regs. application for repair, reconstruction & making good of bar area & snug/store chimney stacks & replacement of ground floors, with a suspended timber floor including sub-floor ventilation, was made on 26th June 2017. Work has commenced with the complete repair of one chimney stack. Further work is on hold until a financially viable planning solution is found, following the dismissal of the owners appeal against the non-determination of planning application TWC/2017/0299 (T&WC had failed to determine the planning application TWC/2017/0299).
    -A notice of intention to dispose of the property was made to the local community group & Parish Council on 31st October 2017.
    -As T&WC had failed to determine the planning application TWC/2017/0299, that application – TWC/2017/0299 – was appealed to the Planning Inspectorate for non-determination on 23rd November 2017.
    -The appeal was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate on 23rd February 2018.
    -The costs of structural repair, the costs of regulatory fire safety compliance, the costs of changing the layout to comply with Part A Structure, B Fire, K Stairs & M Disabled Access (amongst other required Building Regs.) & the costs of general refurbishment following the needed repairs & alterations have been fully & independently costed.
    -These costs are due to the dangerous & incompetent major alteration works that were undertaken in 1972.
    -The cost to repair the existing building for PH use, to re-open the C. Arms making it safe, ensuring compliance & restoring to a usable condition fit to trade, has a likely final figure, estimated by an independent RICS registered Quantity Surveyor, of between £1,008,000.00 (£840,000.00 + VAT) & £816,000.00 (£680,000.00 + VAT).
    -As a result of major alteration works undertaken in 1972 the PH requires major investment to overcome the serious structural issues & to enable compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 etc. The cost of repair & compliance works together with the need for a complete refurbishment of all trade & service areas is, for the present owners, financially unviable in the buildings current use class or any use class.
    -The owners have, to date, spent well over £300k on this PH; undertaking a complete refit of the commercial kitchen, a complete refit of the cellar, replacing the hot & cold water systems, replacing drains, replacing the central heating system, refurbishing the first floor & a complete redecoration of the ground floor trade areas. Investing around £1million is, for the owners, not a viable option.
    -The planning application was designed to provide a facility, including a new Public House, which could viably compete with the local competition. This planning process has taken three years so far.
    -In the Planning Inspectorates very recent decision to dismiss the owners appeal on TWC/ 2017/0299, a reason for refusal of PP (copied in italics below) was stated that; ‘it is likely that the function of the building would be likely to change from what is predominantly a drinking establishment to a restaurant style business’ & also that ‘I am in agreement with the Council that this would be likely to change the function of the building from one offering informal opportunities for members of the community to gather & socialise whilst enjoying a drink or reading the newspaper, to one where people would arrive in small private groups or couples to eat a meal & then leave. There would therefore be less emphasis on the community being able to use the building as a hub for casual use & ancillary leisure activities, such as pub quizzes or a game of cards’.
    -The notion of an investor investing over £1million into a village pub that is primarily used “for casual users to drink or read a newspaper & play cards” etc, & to be a realistic & profitable investment opportunity, does not make commercial sense.
    -The owners have resided at the property since the closure in 2016 to ensure the protection of the building, to prevent theft, vandalism & to protect the building from arson.

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