A NEW pub is to open in Mold filling the void of an empty retail unit.
Flintshire Council’s planning department has approved change of use for Unit 4 of the St David’s building in the Daniel Owen Precinct on Earl Road in the town, which is to become a micropub.
A micropub is often classed as a one-room venue which traditionally serves cask ales and encourages people to socialise without the distractions of electronic entertainment.
The successful application has been made by The Beer Lab Ltd which is behind a similar venue of the same name in Heswall, and could create a mix of new part-time and full-time jobs. They have applied for a licence for opening hours of 11am to 11pm, seven days a week.
According to the plans these hours are to cover events and other eventualities. The core hours that will be applied will be similar to the operating hours of their Wirral site which is 3pm to 10pm Monday to Wednesday, 3pm to 11pm Thursday to Friday, Saturday 12pm to 11pm and Sunday 12pm to 8pm.
In weighing up the merits of the application, council planners considered that the 11am to 11pm threshold is not unreasonable, and it is not considered that the proposal would unacceptably impact upon any residential amenity in the area.
This is covered in the council’s planning officer report which states that despite the potential for loss of retail space, there is flexibility for transforming units into cafes and restaurants to attract people into town centres.
It says: “Policy notes that whilst it is important to protect the retail function of these areas it is also recognised that there has to be some degree of flexibility to address vacancy levels and gaps in town centre ‘offer’ – for example in underrepresented services such as cafes and restaurants.
“These and other leisure uses can attract visitors and shoppers to the centres, support the retail function and help make qualitative improvements to the town centres.
“This policy provides an opportunity where there can be flexibility for allowing non-retail uses within primary shopping areas provided they do not impact on vitality and viability.
“The unit subject to this application has been vacant for some time and it is considered that the proposed use as a micropub would bring a new vitality, particularly with regard to the nighttime economy of the area.”
The report adds that it “would compliment other nearby uses such as restaurants and other licensed premises whilst occupying a previously underused and vacant retail unit”.
“It is considered that the proposal would accord with the policy and will enhance the vibrancy, viability and attractiveness of the town centre, and that the loss of the retail unit would not unacceptably impact upon the primary shopping area”, the report says.
“The proposal represents an acceptable use within Mold town centre that would be a benefit to the local economy. The proposal accords with policy and is acceptable with due regard to other material planning considerations.”
Permission for the change of use has been granted in a delegated decision signed off by Flintshire Council’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow.