Ellesmere Port is to lose another pub.
The vacant Sutton, formerly The Marquis, on Gleneagles Road in Great Sutton has permission for demolition and the erection of five one-bed bungalows and 12 one-bed apartments in a two storey building for supported living.
The accommodation would be provided by the Hilldale Housing Association in partnership with the Alternative Futures Group and Cheshire West and Chester adult social services.
Hilldale director Steve Sargent has told neighbours: “The apartments and bungalows will be for people who require additional support to assist them with daily living whilst still offering the opportunity for independent lifestyles and to be part of the wider community.
“Hilldale are a local housing association who specialise in the development and management of high quality supported accommodation for people with disabilities. We have quite a number of developments across the north west.
“We take pride in the quality of the accommodation we offer and can confidently say from experience that we and our tenants will be ‘good neighbours’.”
Previous proposals led to widespread opposition based on the loss of the pub and the type of accommodation in prospect.
The revised plans have seen 87 people consulted of whom 18 replied, 17 objecting. There were no comments in support.
It was argued future residents would be ‘cramped’ and in busy surroundings and there was no need for more housing in Ellesmere Port.
There would be no local facilities to use, it was said, while the pub used to be a social hub.
Previous objections should be taken into account, said neighbours, and the ‘vague nature/lack of information of supported living’ raised concerns regarding safety as the site was close to a school bus stop and with many elderly people in the locality.
There were insufficient services in the area to support more housing and the proposals would reduce local house prices, it was feared.
There were no objections from the council including highways, affordable housing and green space officers while children and young people’s services had no objection subject to a condition ensuring all occupants were over 18-years-old.
For Hilldale, Cheshire based agents Martin Planning said there was ‘a specific need for the type of specialist accommodation proposed which will provide a community benefit in itself’.
The development would provide supported accommodation for people with disabilities offering suitable, supported accommodation to people with learning disabilities and enduring mental health problems.
The agents argued the new build would meet ‘a specific and well recognised community need for accommodation for vulnerable people within Cheshire West and Chester’.
Referring to the loss of the pub they also pointed to 13 pubs and clubs within a 2km radius suggesting: “Many are a short walk away and would meet the day to day needs of the community.”
Planning officers said each occupant would live independently but with a limited amount of support.
It had been explained the pub had declined and was no longer viable and planners felt it did not appear it had a strong community role. There had been no request for it to be designated.
They approved the application under delegated powers.
At an earlier stage Little Sutton activist Peter Zemroch said he had been ‘devastated to learn that Ellesmere Port is to lose yet another pub’ and added: “Pubs continue to close in Ellesmere Port at an alarming rate.”