Plans for new outdoor area to make Wearside pub 'welcoming community hub' beside children's play park

Plans have been lodged for a new outdoor area at a Washington pub.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 2:18 pm
The plans have been lodged for a new outdoor area at a the Honest Boy in Blackfell

The Honest Boy in Blackfell is one of several pubs across the city planning to welcome customers again on April 12 as Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease.

Last month, the venue lodged an application with Sunderland City Council to change the use of public open space to an outdoor seating area.

This includes a fenced area near the venue with picnic benches allowing the pub to better manage social distancing and capacity in the long-term.

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The low-level perimeter fence also aims to improve safety and security for patrons and their younger family members.

A supporting planning statement, submitted to council planners, outlines the reasons behind the move.

It reads: “The Honest Boy is an important community asset within Blackfell, Washington.

“Now under new management, it is our priority to ensure that the pub serves the community in which it is situated.

“Our vision is for the pub to be the welcoming community hub it once was, and our request to use the outside space is critical in enabling this.

“The space will enable us to be more family friendly, allowing children to safely play using the adjacent play park facilities, whilst under continued family supervision.

“We feel utilising this outside space will be complementary to the existing facilities available in the immediate vicinity.”

The statement goes on to say: “The entire hospitality industry has suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Use of this space will be critical in ensuring our business remains viable in the foreseeable future, safeguarding trade, whilst also enabling us to better manage social distancing and capacity.

“We also hope that by using the space, it will enable [the venue] to create additional employment opportunities.

“We wish to take a pragmatic approach to satisfying the needs of the wider community.

“Our plans are flexible, and open to feedback [and] we propose placing a number of picnic benches across the site, whilst retaining an open and welcoming feel.”

A decision on the application is expected by the end of May, 2021.

According to a planning application, the extra space would create two additional part-time jobs.

To check the progress of the application or to leave a comment, visit Sunderland City Council’s planning portal and search planning reference: 21/00649/FU4

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