Plans submitted for new bar at Morpeth Courthouse utilising former holding cell

Memories of Morpeth Courthouse as a drinking venue could soon be refreshed.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 4:45 pm

Plans have been lodged to create a new bar on the southern wing of the ground floor.

Part of the Grade II listed building was a nightclub in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The new application seeks change of use permission from a health club/gym into a bar.

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Morpeth Courthouse viewed from Carlisle Park.

The proposed works are substantially the same as those that were approved in 2017, but that planning permission has lapsed.

A report submitted by agent BH Planning and Design states: ‘The intention of the works is to provide a small drinking establishment.

‘The proposals seek to retain the current layout of the space and install loose free-standing furniture to provide a unique bar area.

‘The main service area would be contained within the former holding cell.

‘Historically, the building has been used for a variety of purposes and it is now occupied by a number of different uses, some of which are residential whilst others more commercial.

‘The new use would continue to safeguard the significance of the building and its features of architectural and historic interest with the proposed use arguably allowing for a greater level of public interaction with this iconic property than previous uses have achieved.’

It is proposed that the premises will operate between 5pm and 11.30pm on weekdays and noon to 11.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

The courthouse was built in 1822, and designed by John Dobson in the style of a medieval castle. It remained in use as a magistrates’ court and county court until 1980.

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Go ahead for bar scheme in courthouse

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