Social club set for new lease of life after plans are approved


ECDC - Credit: Archant

A social club is to get a new lease of life after a planning application to revamp the premises won the backing of councillors.

Craig Stretton applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council to invest thousands of pounds in renovating and extending Lode Village Social Club, in Lode Road.

Mr Stretton applied to build a new meeting room and bar, with toilet facilities, to the rear of the building and a lounge as part of a single storey extension.

The applicant also applied for an extension the front of the building, which has operated as a social club for more than 50 years, to redevelop the entrance.

But the plans attracted concern from some villagers because of fears over an increase in noise and traffic in the area. Lode Parish Council also expressed its concern over an increase in parking and the hours of opening.

As such, the application was called before the planning committee by ward councillor Robert Stevens.

At a meeting of the council’s planning committee last Wednesday, resident Terence Ambrose said: ““The village residents have been informed that the present owner’s intentions are to run this property as a restaurant business. This represents a new use of the building which is likely to impact severely on residents living close to the property.

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“The main issues we have with the application are noise emissions, parking, smell from extraction systems, security and privacy.”

But despite neighbours’ concerns, planning officer Rebecca Saunt said the plans would preserve a valued community building and would improve its appearance. She recommended the plans for approval.

Councillor Lis Every said: “Lode really, really wants to have a social club and this, as far as I can see, is the only opportunity they will have to start again and make it work.”

The plans were backed unanimously by councillors.