Bar plan for former Chorley village bank is rejected

Councillors in Chorley have pulled down the closed sign on plans to turn a former village bank into a bar and coffee shop.

By Paul Faulkner
Thursday, 8th October 2020, 10:36 am

They were considering an application to convert the Royal Bank of Scotland building on Town Road in Croston after it was shut last year.

The proposal would also have seen the venue operate an upstairs room for pre-booked functions.

The applicant claimed that noise form within the premises would be reduced by promised insulation – and that customers would be unlikely to gather outside to socialise or smoke, because of the location at a “pinch point” on the pavement.

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The RBS in Croston closed in January 2019 (image: Google)

However, Chorley Council’s planning officers concluded that the potential for disturbance to locals caused by the venture would “go above and beyond” that typically associated with a bank – and recommended that the scheme was refused.

Tom Smith, who lives in an adjoining property within the terrace block where the bank sits, said he would struggle to think of somewhere “less suitable” for such a business.

“The walls between [the two properties] are one-brick thin and I do not accept that the soundproofing proposed – which is enhanced plasterboard – would protect us and other neighbours sufficiently from the noise nuisance that would be experienced.

“Croston has seven other drinking establishments…so it can hardly be said to be lacking in that regard, “ Mr. Smith added.

The meeting heard that an acoustic survey had not been submitted with the application, making it impossible to assess whether the proposed noise mitigation was sufficient.

Members were also told that it would be difficult for the council to impose a condition governing the exact use of the function room.

Planning services manager Adele Hayes added: “No control could be exerted over the noise generated by customers entering and leaving the premises and congregating and smoking outside late in the evening, which would undoubtedly result in disturbance to local residents.”

It had been proposed that the business would operate from 9am until 10pm Sundays to Thursdays and 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Committee member Alex Hilton said that it was” categorically the wrong place” for a drinking establishment.

His colleagues agreed and the application was unanimously rejected.