Preston bar owners see plans for apartments upstairs thrown out

A revamped city centre bar has had its application for six apartments turned down by Preston Council.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 12:43 pm

The owners of Barney's Piano Bar, who spent £100,000 on refurbishing the Church Street premises in December, have been told their plans for four flats above and two behind could have noise and privacy issues for future occupants.

Business partners Anthony Newman and Mark Skeffington are now expected to revise the scheme before making a new application.

The pair bought the bar last year, despite the Covid pandemic, and are hoping they can tap into what many hope will be a re-invigoration of the Church Street area, as part of the city council's Stoneygate Masterplan.

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Owners Mark Skeffington and Anthony Newman in their revamped bar.

They submitted plans to convert the first and second floors of the building into four apartments, with two more in an existing outbuilding at the rear.

But planning officers have recommended the council refuses the scheme after environmental health officials objected due to concerns over noise, ventilation and privacy for future residents living so close to a bar and other neighbouring commercial and residential premises.

While they say a scheme for apartments in that location would be acceptable, they raised issues over whether they would be adequately sound-proofed, especially at night when the bar would be open until 2am and is directly opposite a takeaway which serves until 3am on a Saturday night.

In a report to the planning committee, the planning officers say the application did not contain a detailed acoustic assessment, so they couldn't be sure future residents would not be affected by "undue noise disturbance."

Barney's Piano Bar was refurbished last year.

They said no consideration had been given to ventilation at times, especially at night, when windows could not be opened due to outside noise. And there could be problems with a loss of privacy at the rear which overlooked the bar's beer garden.

Anthony Newman said he did not wish to comment "at the moment."