Renovation plans approved for Seahouses' Black Swan Inn
Renovation plans for one of the oldest pubs in Seahouses have been given the green light.
A planning application for improvement works at the Black Swan Inn has been approved by Northumberland County Council (NCC).
The pub, on Union Street, was recently taken over by Michael Dawson and Chico Gomes, who also own the Craster Arms and Saltwater Cafe in neighbouring Beadnell.
Michael said: “We’re very excited to move this fantastic venue forward and delighted that NCC have understood and appreciated our vision.
“We look forward to welcoming people through the doors of the new Black Swan in Easter of 2020.”
Part of the plan by Neil Wilson Design is to extend into the existing open area/lean-to roofed courtyard space, enclosing the structure to provide year round seating. Efforts will also be made to maximise views across the harbour.
There were eight objections, including one from the nearby Schooner Inn, which has concerns that the plan to move the main entrance of the Black Swan within 10 metres of its own could increase noise and potential disorder.
Planning officers, approving the scheme under delegated powers, stated: ‘The proposed kitchen extension and glazed orangery enclosure will be carried out within the existing walled courtyard of the public house and therefore have limited visual impact beyond its immediate surroundings.
‘The proposal will be to use a pre-existing door on North Street as the main entrance and this change will be in internal alteration only and could be carried out without the need for planning permission.
‘Matters were raised with regards to the increase of anti-social behaviour and public disturbance as a result of the development. The principle of the public house has been long established at this location.
‘It is therefore considered that the proposal will result in an acceptable form of development that will be consistent with the appearance and character of the existing dwelling without causing unacceptable detriment on amenity levels or on the appearance of the surrounding area.’
Mr Dawson, speaking at a meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council in September, said: "In an increasingly competitive market operators on the coast are striving to provide more stylish and contemporary surroundings and service, developing their offer to the ever more discerning customer.
"We intend to achieve this with a full redesign and refit of the whole ground floor, an extension of the bar to facilitate a bespoke cocktail menu, an extended kitchen fully fitted with new equipment and extraction with a higher level of noise and odour control.
"I want to make it clear that our intention is a move away from sports bar and late night drinking and towards a welcoming and attractive bar that regulars and tourists can enjoy a drink in together, and a family-friendly food venue."
The scheme will result in the creation of four additional full-time jobs and up to six more seasonal positions.