Historic pub building saved after demolition plans rejected following heritage campaign
Plans to demolish a historic pub to make way for housing have been thrown out by Sunderland City Council.
The redevelopment plans covered the vacant pub site and wider car park.
However, the outline application sparked concerns from the county archaeologist who noted the historic significance of the tavern.
This included links to the social history of the Durham Coalfield with the building providing a “tangible link to the area’s coal mining heritage.”
Hetton Town Council also lodged a formal objection with city planners referencing the building’s heritage and potential parking and highway safety issues from the new development.
A statement from the town council reads: “Lyons Tavern is one of the few remaining early 19th century buildings in the area and the town council would prefer to see the building saved and converted as it forms part of Hetton-le -Hole’s historic identity.”
Following consultation, the city council’s planning authority formally refused the proposals on Thursday, June 4.
Reasons included the applicant failing to demonstrate that alternative community uses for the building had been explored alongside concerns about the suitability of the site for homes.
Planners also noted the “confined and cramped layout” of the site, the “local significance” of the pub building and potential biodiversity impacts from demolition in respect of the potential presence of bats.
A decision report goes on to say: “It has not been demonstrated to the local planning authority that the site is capable of accommodating the quantum of parking required to serve the seven residential dwellings.
“The indicative site plan illustrates that the parking bays serving the properties would be of substandard dimensions creating difficulties for vehicles manoeuvring within the site and highway safety concerns for drivers entering and exiting their vehicles.”
The public house was established in 1828 and was located south of Hetton Colliery and immediately east of the Hetton Company Railway Elemore Branch.
According to planning documents, it was likely that the tavern would have been frequented by miners who worked at the colliery and lived along Four Lane Ends.
Applicant Clifton Properties Yorkshire Ltd has the right to appeal the council rejection notice.