Proposals to convert a much-loved pub into housing has left a community raising concerns. Creating 14 flats is being proposed by AH Investments, based in Swadlincote, and would mean the loss of a much-frequented pub and result in a loss of view and property value for those living nearby, claim residents.
There have been 36 objections so far received by Amber Valley Borough Council from worried locals over plans to develop the Inn The Middle pub on Station Road in Langley Mill in Derbyshire. A particular concern for many of the objections is the effect the development would have on the setting of a nearby listed building.
They suggest more flats, traffic and parking would worsen the already “derelict” looking area around the Grade II-listed St Andrew’s Church situated opposite the pub. Another objector said: “The state of the other flats in the area look derelict and we wouldn’t like to see a beautiful listed building going down the same route.”
Anti-social behaviour could also increase, they claimed. One objector said: “Already on North Street we have flats that fetch anti-social behaviour and adding more flats would increase this, and we aren’t guaranteed that this won’t be an HMO [house of multiple occupation] either.”
Another added that they and many other people in the area would regret the loss of a popular nearby hospitality venue and that too many have disappeared already. They said: “We have enough homes in Langley Mill and Aldercar.
“I wish that this would remain as a public house as it is a beloved building for many locals. There are other areas available for the development of new homes.
“There’s too much traffic and trouble caused by too many homes in that particular area. Stop turning beloved buildings into cheap set-ups for multiple people.”
Others are concerned about the size of flats included in the plans put forward, reports DerbyshireLive. One local said: “How on Earth will they fit 14 apartments in there?”
Some however are more supportive of the plans, citing the need for more affordable housing in the area. One resident said: “14 less homeless, we all need a roof over our heads.”
The former owners of the venue, who will soon retire, announced in May last year that they had accepted an offer for the property which included a “change of use”. They said: “We have accepted an offer on Inn The Middle, the offer is subject to planning permission, which will include change of use.
“At present we, like you, can only wait and see what comes out of this process. The decision to accept the offer has been by far the most difficult business decision we’ve ever had to make, then sharing this news with our loyal team and lovely customers an even harder task.
“So for now it’s business as usual, well as usual as it can be as we hopefully exit the pandemic. That’s it for now, more news will follow when known.
“We can’t thank you all enough for your support. As we navigate a step closer to retirement, we are starting to relish the possibility of more relaxation time with family and friends.”
Documents supporting the proposal state that there will be “fairly minimal” changes to the existing building’s interior, but the roof will be raised. Arrangements have also been made for “limited” parking.
They added: “The Middle Inn is a former public house which has suffered financially during recent years and particularly during the pandemic. To accommodate the units the roof of the existing store onto North Street is raised to provide a first floor.
“Similarly, the roof adjacent the western boundary is raised to create a first floor. There is similar treatment to the existing seating area.
“There will be fairly minimal internal changes to the existing building and no changes to the two external principal elevations to North Street and Station Road. The central courtyard will be used for a limited amount of parking.
“Three spaces are provided. We consider this to be satisfactory for the development bearing in mind the size of the properties and the site’s location with regard to the railway station and bus services on Station Road.
“Vehicles will gain access via the existing access off North Street. Gates will be set back into the site and operated by a fob or similar system.”
The decision to either reject or approve the development has been delegated pending consideration from Amber Valley Borough Council’s planning body. A spokesperson for the authority said the application is still being considered.