BEER GARDEN: Plans for The Lookout refused by council
Proposals for an enclosed beer garden at a South Shields pub have been refused by council planners.
Last year, Trust Inns Ltd lodged an application with South Tyneside Council for land adjacent to The Lookout pub off Fort Street.
This included a change of use from a car park to a beer garden area, complete with a new smoking shelter, picnic tables and fencing.
According to the planning application, work started on the change of use in May 2020.
While the shelter and tables have already been installed at the site, which is bounded on three sides by residential properties, no fencing is currently in place.
When the plans were first submitted, a number of objections were lodged from local residents and the council’s environmental health officer, primarily around the potential for noise and general disturbance.
As a result, the applicant requested extra time to submit amended plans, with several suggestions put forward including the installation of a higher boundary fence, the possible use of sound proofing for the fencing and the submission of a management plan.
Amended plans were submitted in March 2021 increasing the height of the proposed fence surrounding the beer garden to 1.82 metres and changing its design to timber panelling, from its previous ‘picket’ style design.
A planning statement also confirmed the beer garden would have CCTV and a gate which would be locked and that arrangements had been made to address parking, bin storage and the management of taxis arriving at the site.
However, following a second round of consultation seven objections were received from neighbours with concerns ranging from loss of privacy and noise to anti-social behaviour.
The council’s environmental health officer also added that the proposed beer garden would have a “significant affect” on the nearest properties and that the increased height of the fence “would not be able to mitigate noise associated with beer gardens [such as] boisterous behaviour etc.”
After considering all representations, South Tyneside Council’s planning department rejected the application on May 21, 2021.
In a decision statement published on the council’s website, planners said the beer garden would have a “significant detrimental impact on the amenity of surrounding residents.”
This was due to its “large footprint, amount of seating and open-air design and its close proximity to a number of residential dwellings along Lawe Road, Trajan Avenue and Fort Street.”
Planners added that the beer garden would result in an “unacceptable increase in noise and disturbance, including both through the use of the beer garden itself and the associated coming and goings of customers visiting the premises.”
Other reasons for refusal included “unacceptable overlooking of the rear habitable windows” of nearby dwellings, to the “detriment of the privacy of the occupiers.”
The refusal statement went on to say: “Taking into account the predominantly residential character of the surrounding area, the nature of the proposed use of the application site as a drinking establishment and the number of customers who could use the beer garden at any one time, as well as the fact that it would be unstaffed and there would be no direct physical link between the main pub and this external area to assist in its management, the beer garden has not been designed to ensure that potential anti-social behaviour and disorder, and the fear of crime, would not undermine the quality of life for surrounding residents.”
For more information on the application and council decision, visit South Tyneside Council’s planning portal and search reference: ST/0432/20/FUL
Words: Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporter
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