Councillors' backing for Ely pub's expansion plans
PUBLISHED: 13:21 16 May 2013 | UPDATED: 13:21 16 May 2013
A HISTORIC Ely pub's plans to expand its dining and kitchen areas were approved by councillors on Thursday, despite neighbours' claims that the development could blight their quality of life.
The Prince Albert, in Silver Street, is owned by Greene King but was taken on at the start of the year by new licensees who are keen to expand the menu and attract new diners into the pub.
Under plans submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council in February, a disused building at the rear of the pub will be converted into an expanded dining area and kitchen facilities, with a new side entrance servicing the dining area.
The plans were met with opposition from some neighbours, however, who pleaded with councillors sitting on the planning committee to reject the application.
Jonathan Rodgers, of The Range, told the meeting: “We feel that this is a significant overdevelopment of the site and it is something we feel very strongly about.
“The reason this massive building is going to appear next to our properties is purely financial and economical, not out of some concern for the character of the area.”
District councillor Richard Hobbs also weighed in on behalf of residents, saying: “I believe it is going to be a blight on the residents who live near it. The impact on their quality of life will be just too much.”
Soham councillor Joshua Schumann, who sits on the planning committee, shared concerns that the noise of increased activity in the pub could affect residents but voted unanimously with other councillors to approve the development.
Stephen Brooker, on behalf of Greene King, said: “We currently employ eight staff but we will be able to employ up to 16 people if planning permission is gained.”