Plans for a new bar in Culcheth have been approved following fears part of the village is ‘dying’.
Barry and Jane Tuffs’ proposal to change the use of the premises, on Lodge Drive, from retail to a drinking establishment selling alcohol, along with use as a café, came before the development management committee on Wednesday.
It is a single storey retail unit located in the village’s neighbourhood centre.
The proposal comprised the site operating as a café/restaurant during the day, with evenings and weekends focusing on operating as a bar with a small range of cold food available for purchase.
Opening hours were planned to be Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 11.30pm, and Sundays and bank holidays, from 10am to 10pm.
The application was approved, as recommended, however it came with a condition to change the Monday to Saturday closing time to 11pm, rather than 11.30pm.
Culcheth and Glazebury Parish Council had objected over residential amenity as a result of increased noise and disturbance, anti-social behaviour and inadequate parking provision.
Seven objections have also been submitted from residents on grounds including residential amenity and increased noise.
Concerns were raised over the impact on nearby residential properties, particularly the Gilbert Court retirement housing site, during the meeting at the Town Hall.
Mr Tuffs told the committee the part of the village where the shop would be located is ‘dying’ and he wants to help regenerate the area.
He added: “I understand Culcheth and I think I understand what Culcheth people need.
“I absolutely understand the concerns of the individuals, who have been here to raise their concerns, and some of the objections that have been raised in the overall planning.
“But as a Culcheth resident I look at Culcheth and I am really, really worried.”
Mr Tuffs also told members ‘every single shop’ in that part of the village was shut at 4pm last Saturday.
But the comments were not well received by ‘puzzled’ committee member Cllr Joan Grime (LAB – Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft).
She said: “I want to clarify that does not mean that those shops are closed and businesses are empty, it is just that they happen to close on a Saturday afternoon, which often happens in a village.
“I am unhappy about the placing of this new suggested wine bar open until 11.30 at night.
“It is right on the edge of the village centre, just next to all the houses on Ellesmere Road and Gilbert Court, which is a retirement property.”