Co-op plan to turn Sheffield pub into shop rejected by Government inspector
A Government inspector has rejected a supermarket's plan to convert a Sheffield pub into a shop.
The Co-operative Group wanted to change the use of the Cherry Tree in Carter Knowle Road.
A planning application was submitted to the council, but after a decision was repeatedly delayed, the firm claimed 'non-determination' and asked the national Planning Inspectorate to intervene.
The council had been waiting to see whether the pub, owned by Enterprise Inns, would be listed as an asset of community value, or ACV, which would offer it extra planning protection. That status was granted in May.
Enterprise asked for that decision to be reviewed, but the council stuck by its original decision.
Prior to the appeal, councillors said they would have voted to refuse planning permission because of the ACV status and partly because of 'poor urban design’.
And after considering the proposals, planning inspector Ian Radcliffe supported the council's view.
In his report, the inspector said: "The poor quality of the design of the proposed development would cause harm to the built environment, contrary to the development plan.
"Socially, the proposed redevelopment would result in the loss of a community asset of demonstrable value where people can meet and socialise.
"Whilst the proposed Co-op store would allow the local community to mix, the opportunities for socialising would be far more limited.
"Overall therefore, I find that socially the proposed development would have a negative impact."
The inspector said there would be some economic benefits from a food shop, but the design 'shortcomings' and 'adverse' social effects were of 'significant concern'.
The Co-operative Group has not yet responded to a request for comment. But Sheffield Campaign for Real Ale pub heritage officer Dave Pickersgill welcomed the decision.
He said: "The Cherry Tree is now not under immediate threat and has the opportunity to continue to function as a well-run local community pub.
"We hope that Enterprise Inns will turn away for their plans to demolish the building and instead, concentrate on giving their full support to the pub management."