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D-day looms for Birch Cross pub as homes plan before planners

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PLANS to transform a vacant Uttoxeter pub into houses have been recommended to be refused by council officers.

East Staffordshire Borough Council’s planning committee will decide on Monday whether to grant permission to turn the Blacksmiths Arms, in Birch Cross, into houses for 24 people across eight separate homes.

Landowner MJ Barrett is aiming to call time of the pub to split it into two separate dwellings, which will have two stories and car parking spaces.

The homes will have between two and four bedrooms each.

A spokesman for JVH Town Planning Consultants, which is managing the planning application, said the new builds will compliment the conversion of the existing pub building.

However, Mike Harker, branch chairman of the Heart of Staffordshire CAMRA, said they do not want to see another pub knocked down to be turned into houses.

He told The Advertiser: “We obviously don’t want pubs to close but we appreciate that it is a declining market.

“Food pubs are doing very well but it is the wet pubs that are finding it difficult particularly where people have to drive to the pub.

“It is upsetting that there is no planning law required for change of use but there is something going through Parliament where permission will be required before pubs can be demolished.”

Councillors sitting on the committee have been recommended to refuse the plans by planning officers as it would result in the development of a site in a rural area with no opportunity to access necessary every day amenities without the use of a car

A meeting of the council committee to discuss the plans will be held at Burton Town Hall from 2pm on Monday.

The pub has had a string of owners in the last 10 years and has been opening and closing sporadically as they struggled to keep the pub turning a profit consistently.

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