Housing plans for former Isham pub site approved, but work won’t start for two years

Signs for the Bear & Beignet have gone up on the former Monk & Minstrel pub in Isham

Signs for the Bear & Beignet have gone up on the former Monk & Minstrel pub in Isham

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Plans to redevelop the site of a former pub have been given the go-ahead.

Wellingborough Council’s planning committee approved plans last night (Wednesday) to convert the site of the former Monk & Minstrel pub in Isham to three self-contained flats (the upper floor already provides residential accommodation for the drinking establishment) and the construction of five detached dwellings with garages on the rest of the site.

It’s a shame the pub is going but it’s not viable anymore

Cllr Tim Maguire

However, construction of the housing will not start for two years.

Applicant Darren Allen told councillors that this was due to the developer’s workload and said: “We are a very busy local developer and have a large number of developments happening in the Wellingborough area at the moment.”

Some people living nearby had raised concerns before the meeting, including loss of the pub, over-development, unsatisfactory access arrangements, insufficient parking provision and increased traffic.

And a letter from Isham Parish Council stated: “We wish to see the existing building retained and feel that a coffee house would be an acceptable use, however, we have concerns regarding the amount of parking which appears to us to be inadequate.

“In respect of the housing our view is that this is an overdevelopment of the site.”

A letter from the applicant said that after the site viewing by councillors, it was clear there were concerns regarding the loss of parking spaces for local residents and patrons to the nearby shop.

However, it also stated that there are no provisions or agreements in place between the brewery and residents regarding use of the site’s car park.

The letter went on: “I give an undertaking that before any of the construction commences (which will be at least two years), and once the fence is down in readiness of the coffee shop opening, the car park can be used by the local residents as long as this is not at a level that affects the trading and viability of the coffee shop.

“Concerns were also raised that if consented, the proposal could be partially implemented - with the construction of the five dwellings and retention of the cafe use resulting in a mixed use development.

“From my point of view, this sort of arrangement is undesirable and presents operational and management difficulties.

“The ideal thing would be to have a single land use for the site and not a mixture of commercial and residential.”

During discussion by the committee, Cllr Tim Maguire said: “It’s a shame the pub is going but it’s not viable anymore.

“I am swaying in favour of this application.”

Cllr Martin Griffiths said he had reservations, and added: “I believe it is still over-development.”

But the recommendation was to approve the plans with conditions and councillors granted planning permission.

Signs have recently gone up on the former pub building for the Bear and Beignet, advertising coffee rooms, brew bar and drop bakery.