Concern at plans to turn pub into foodstore

The Burnside, Longhoughton
The Burnside, Longhoughton

Plans to turn a village pub into a Co-operative store have sparked alarm in Longhoughton.

A proposal has been submitted to Northumberland County Council to make internal changes to the Burnside in the village, the parish council heard on Monday.

But it was only on closer inspection of the application that it was found that the changes are to be made to create a Co-op foodstore at the site.

The plans state that roller shutters and amendments are going to the made to the front of the premises with a ‘Co-op green’ on the frontage

It has raised a number of fears among the council and residents.

Chairing the meeting, Coun Billy Bell said: “I was the first to receive this application and there was no indication that it was going to turn into a shop – I thought it was for security measures.

“It was only subsequent to that when I heard that it was tied to a change of use that I realised it would be changing from a pub to a shop.”

But Coun Eleanor Phillips pointed out that legally there was no need for an application to change the use of the building from a pub to a shop.

Three members of the public voiced their disappointment at the plans, and losing their village pub, but stated that they thought there was a covenant on the premises which meant it had to be used as a pub.

Clerk Elizabeth Taylor said the council had responded to the application and raised a number of concerns relating to the number of wagons that might use the area as well as there being a cash machine that could cause disturbance to nearby residents.

There were also concerns about the effect on the current Spar shop which also houses the village Post Office.

A notice has also gone up for a drinks license to enable the store to sell alcohol to take away from the premises.

The public were urged to get in touch with the council’s planning team about the application.

Coun Brian Ellis said that if the pub is to be lost, any new development should have a rider that a scheme is included to create a pub.

He said: “If we get a subsequent planning application for housing developments in this village, I think the parish council should ask that the developers consider putting a pub in.

“A village of this size without a pub is missing something.”

Councillors agreed

It was agreed that this would be put to any developers looking to build future estates within the Longhoughton Parish Council area.