PLANS LOOK SET TO BE THROWN OUT
PLANS to build a shop at a village pub look set to be thrown out – despite widespread support from residents.
Landlord Peter Wilkinson’s proposals to extend the Raddle Inn at Hollington include a small-scale retail outlet serving families in the area and visitors using tourist accommodation.
He also wants to build three more holiday lodges at the Quarry Bank business – taking the total number to nine.
Checkley Parish Council offered its full support to the development, describing the application as ‘vital to sustain local tourism’ and claiming it would have a ‘positive impact on the area’.
More than 40 residents have also backed the plan featuring an extension to the existing pub of 5.5m x 4.5m.
Yet members of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council seem likely to refuse permission when they meet tomorrow (Thursday).
A report found that while use of part of the extension as a shop would be acceptable, the additional lodges would constitute an ‘unsustainable’ form of development on greenfield land.
Officers say as Hollington is a smaller village with a low population, very few services, facilities or tourist attractions and barely any public transport, the lodges would encourage journeys by car – contravening policies including the Churnet Valley Masterplan.
They believe aspects of the vision, objectives and strategies of the core strategy would be ‘threatened and undermined’ as a result.
Cheadle town councillor Mr Wilkinson has been left fuming by the recommendation.
He said: “I can’t really get my head around the reasons given to be honest – it’s an absolute joke.
“The extension would contain a small retail outlet, selling goods such as milk, bread, local produce and daily requirements. It would also include new lavatories as I want to make the existing gents loo into an accessible toilet for the disabled with a baby changing facility.
“There are no shops at all in the village anymore so I wanted to provide a valuable service and something that’s very much needed.
“I’ve got virtually the entire village behind me and I can only hope the councillors ignore the recommendation and see sense.”
Mr Wilkinson said the need for new holiday lodges was simply borne from demand.
He added: “The business is doing well and its rateable value has gone up by £40,000 in recent years so I’m not sure why district council officers think the development would be unsustainable. What does that even mean in this context?
“The district council recently approved the building of 250 new lodges at Moneystone Quarry, where access is along a single-track road. How can they then use increased journeys as a reason to turn down an application for an existing tourist destination?
“My proposal is to extend what’s already here, not for something that’s new. I just don’t see any consistency in their decision-making.”
Mr Wilkinson insists the recommendation is also in direct conflict with an initiative promoting the diversification of rural pubs in the area.
He said: “Staffordshire County Council is running a ‘Pub is the Hub’ campaign to get owners and licensees to expand their business into the local community.
“I’ve even been invited to the launch of it at Uttoxeter Racecourse.
“Obviously, no one has told the district council about it because they seem to be doing the opposite.”
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