Pub and cafe plans approved for Preston

Building where  Guild Ale House will go, with proposed signage
Building where Guild Ale House will go, with proposed signage
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Listed buildings in a city-centre street are to be given a new lease of life as plans were approved to open a new pub and cafe.

Applications had been lodged to convert two council-owned buildings in Lancaster Road, Preston - one into the Ham and Jam cafe with awnings and one into the Guild Ale House, a pub serving micro-brews and craft ales.

Preston Council’s planning committee this week gave the green lights to both projects, which are hoped to bring empty buildings back into use.

Gary Quinn, who will become the landlord of the Guild Ale House, subject to a licence being granted, said: “It is going to be a small, speciality pub and we are going to be concentrating on local real ales, micro-brews, craft beers.

“There’s not going to be any loud music, it’s going to be a place where people will go to talk. I am hoping to open it in about six weeks’ time.”

The plans, to convert the basement and ground floor of 56 Lancaster Road had been recommended for approval, with conditions, by officers and were agreed unanimously by councillors.

A report to councillors said: “The proposed drinking establishment is considered to complement the function of the city centre and would not lead to an unacceptable change in the character of Lancaster Road or the city centre.

“The benefits of bringing a vacant listed building back into active use would outweigh any harm to the retail core.”

Plans to convert two other empty retail units, now one larger unit, at 50 to 52 Lancaster Road, into a cafe with awnings, were also given the go-ahead.

A report said: “The proposed development would not have any unacceptable adverse harm upon traffic and highway safety, the amenities of neighbouring premises or waste management.”

It said: “The property is Grade II listed and part of the Princess Buildings, which is also set within the Market Square Conservation Area.”

The reports relating to both of the developments said the proposals, alongside other applications, would result in an “over concentration” of non-retail units within the row of commercial units on Lancaster Road.

But they said: “However, four out of five of the existing retail units have been vacant for in excess of 12 months.”

Listed building consent was granted for both buildings.