The Foresters Inn, Littledean Hill Road, Cinderford – Classic change of use from public house to flats and a terrace of three dwellings to the rear. Essential issues in negotiating with the Local Planning Authority related to the perceived loss of a “community facility” and the former justification in planning terms for the change of use. This was achieved by a trawl through the area of existing community facilities, proximity to bus networks and other elements of social and community exchange as part of a full planning application.
Quite often public houses arrive on the open market on the basis that it has become uneconomic to carry on with their original purpose of serving food and beverages. Many Local Authorities resist applications for Change of Use and indeed are often supported by CAMRA. The path to a successful application, as in this case, was a conversion to three flats of the old pub building and four new houses on the pub car park, relates initially to making a case with the Local Planning Authority that firm research has been undertaken with regard to potential new uses for the premises and the scale of alternative food and beverage establishments within the fairly immediate.
Efforts need to be made to advertise any premises within strict parameters and advice is available from P.P.S. Ltd in this regard. The successful application tested Procuro’s negotiation skills, together with those of harmonising the residential development on different levels and vistas to eliminate overlooking, but also to provide enough private amenity space and turning and manoeuvring areas.
Caution is also urged with regard to pub conversions without correct research as often there are uplift clauses on uses different to public house uses and the possibility in more built-up areas of significant pubs being either Listed or indeed registered as a community asset. These events can frustrate any application.