The old Bay Leaf restaurant, which is situated in a prominent position close to Tarleton traffic lights, is the subject of a planning application to West Lancashire Council’s planning committee, which is being advised to allow the proposal to go ahead.
The development involves demolishing the existing building on the site to build a single-storey Aldi store and a two-storey office building at the south of the site. The restaurant, which was formerly a pub and then an American diner, closed for good in 2008 and has been left to deteriorate ever since.
The part of the existing building that is a former pub - the Ram’s Head - is said to be an historic local building and the West Lancashire Conservation Area Advisory Panel is objecting to the proposal because it would be bulldozed as part of the plans.
And there have been a series of other objections from local people on the grounds of :
a loss of trade to other stores in the area;
lack of car parking;
Light and noise pollution;
Increased air pollution;
Inappropriate development in the Green Belt.
A letter of objection has been submitted by representatives of the Co-operative Group, which says that the applicant has failed to demonstrate that there are ‘very special circumstances’ to justify development in the Green Belt and also fail the assessments required of the Local Plan.
But a planning officer’s report says: “ I consider that the proposed development is not likely to impact to a significant degree upon other shops and facilities within either Hesketh Bank or Tarleton centres, and that they will continue to provide for the day to day retail and service needs of local residents following development of the application proposal. I am satisfied that the proposed development is not likely to lead to a significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability of Tarleton and Hesketh Bank Village Centres."
The application is recommended for approval, with a series of conditions, when the council's planning committee meets on Janaury 9.