Council officers recently gave permission to turn a historic Lincoln pub into student flats, but it wasn’t an easy journey for the landlord.
The Golden Cross was situated on the High Street. The pub was rebuilt in 1959 and closed in 2020.
Landlord Charlie Creane’s bid to demolish the Golden Cross and replace it with a student housing block was originally rejected in April 2019.
The applicant’s agent Chris Henderson had said at the meeting that traditional pubs were “struggling to survive” in the current economic climate and that student housing would be a “positive” for the city.
They said it recognised that the pub had a “historic significance”, but added that its loss would “not be a detriment” to the area.
However, councillors feared the development would damage the area and felt the building was too big.
Councillor Ronald Hills, who proposed rejecting the plan, said: “There comes a time when we have to say ‘enough is enough’.
“If this site is right for a development then I feel that it should be for local people.”
They voted it down by eight votes to two.
However, the developer did not give up, instead lodging an appeal to the Government’s planning inspector Matthew Woodward in December 2019.
Mr Woodward upheld the appeal, saying in his decision notice that he was satisfied that the building would not have an impact on the character of the area.
“I am satisfied that whilst the proposed building would be prominent in views along Queen Street, a feasible design response exists so as to ensure it would not overwhelm the street to the detriment of the character and appearance of the area,” he said.
He added that, while the building dates back to the 20th century, there was “nothing in evidence” to suggest that it has “anything more than limited historical significance”.
The outline plan proposes building a three storey, 47 room student accommodation on the site of the pub.
It includes en-suite rooms, a common room and kitchen on each floor, as well as two laundry rooms for the first and second floors.
The pub was built in 1959 and was popular with Lincoln City fans on matchdays.
Planning applications are given three year time limits and Mr Creane’s latest bid, submitted three years later sought only to renew the previous consent with proposals “remaining consistent”.
“It is clear that the proposal would address the outstanding need for student accommodation within the city, without causing harm to either the Conservation Area or wider townscape,” said the application.
“On the contrary, it has been demonstrated that the proposed building would be more sympathetic to established character of the wider area.”
This time it was given delegated approval by officers who said the development would “relate well to the site and surroundings”.
“The proposals would bring a vacant site back into use and would ensure the character and appearance of the Conservation Area is preserved,” they said.
MyLocal Lincolnshire is the new home of The Lincolnite. Download the app now