Sheffield’s first micropub gets go-ahead

John Harrison and Chris Sinclair are planning a micropub in Sheffield.
John Harrison and Chris Sinclair are planning a micropub in Sheffield.
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Pints will be pulled before Christmas at Sheffield’s first micropub – after plans for the venue were given the green light.

Proposals to turn a former e-cigarette shop on Ecclesall Road, near Hunters Bar roundabout, into the tiny real ale pub were approved yesterday by Sheffield Council’s planning committee.

Councillors took just a few minutes to discuss the plans, which had attracted some objections from residents with concerns about noise, traffic and littering as well as the ‘overburdening’ of Ecclesall Road, although there were no speakers in opposition at the meeting.

There were also many letters of support from drinkers keen to sample local real ales and enjoy ‘convivial conversation’ at the pub, which will not play music.

Chris Sinclair, who runs The Dronfield Arms in Dronfield and is behind the venture with business partner John Harrison, said the planning work would start today.

He added: “We are just over the moon – we are really excited about the project.

“We were disappointed so many people objected because we are really confident it will add to the vitality of the area - we are not opening a nightclub.

“We are hoping to open as near to the beginning of December as possible.”

Micropubs are small, one-room public houses, and the demand for them is said to be increasing.

The new one on Ecclesall Road will employ three members of staff.

Chris added: “There are now 68 micropubs in the UK and when we first started looking into this there were 54, so they are opening at a rate of knots.

“It is something new. There is nothing down there like that at the moment and particularly around Sharrow Vale people seem to love independent businesses.

“I have nothing against e-cigarette shops but in terms of adding to the vitality and character of the area I think we bring something completely different. It’s not just another takeaway.”

Two last-minute representations regarding disabled access, as there are two steps between parts of the unit, a slight slope at the entrance and no disabled toilet, were read out at the meeting.

Planning officers said installing a disabled toilet would take up a large proportion of the unit and so it was ‘not reasonable’ to insist that one be installed.

Three councillors abstained from the vote.