Dining and festival vision for pub’s ‘wasted’ car park

Withy Arms Pub on Brownedge Lane, Bamber Bridge want to turn the rear of the rcar park into a seating area with booths for outdoor drinking and festivals. 'Pictured is the area behind the pub.'29th October 2015
Withy Arms Pub on Brownedge Lane, Bamber Bridge want to turn the rear of the rcar park into a seating area with booths for outdoor drinking and festivals. 'Pictured is the area behind the pub.'29th October 2015
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A busy pub is set to get a new outdoor dining and drinking area, as part of a bid to revitalise Bamber Bridge town centre.

Bosses at the Withy Arms in Station Road, have been granted permission to build a raised seating area and covered dining booths on the rear car park, along with a 1.5m fence.

The idea is to replicate the beer garden area of its sister pub, the Withy Arms in Leyland, on a smaller scale, providing a place for more beer festivals and dining.

But the approval has come despite the concerns of neighbours.

Residents of Brownedge Lane sent in letters of objection to South Ribble Council, concerned about behaviour, noise and cleanliness, but they were not upheld by council chiefs.

Barry Bretherton objected saying: “My concern is one of audible rather than visual privacy due to the design being of ‘open air’ construction instead of more traditional roof and walls.

“This was proven to be the case recently when an outdoor beer festival was held on the proposed site for a number of days and the subsequent loud behaviour of the patrons continued until at least 11.30pm, causing me to have to close all the windows adjacent to the hotel to try and drown out the noise.”

Stuart Leese also objected, claiming a smaller outdoor drinking decking area installed in 2011 is poorly controlled, there are noise and cleanliness problems, and by using the space in this way, it would cause storage problems for commercial waste.

Lee Forshaw, owner of the Withy Arms, said: “We don’t have any behaviour issues, if anyone is rowdy, we don’t tolerate it and they are thrown out.

“I think what we’re doing will be an improvement to the area, actually decreasing noise. The way the booths are designed is to absorb the noise.

“There will be a wall as well and it will make the whole area look a lot nicer.”

He added: “The car park at the moment is a wasted space that you can only fit about three cars on.

“We’ve been working alongside the council who want to revitalise the area, and this will do that and give us more scope for putting events on.”