Listed Keynsham pub allowed to keep outside bar for one year

A Keynsham pub’s plea to keep the outside bar which was installed without planning permission has been successful.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has approved the retrospective planning application at The Old Bank in High Street which is Grade II listed.

Applicant Western Inns said the large timber shed had been installed to create a COVID-safe environment for customers and is a key part of their survival plans.

The application set out the economic case for temporary use to 2026: “To continue beyond lockdown, the pub has taken on debts. We desperately need to be able to continue to trade for the pub to start recouping these losses and have a long-term viable future. Without the outside bar, the pub could simply cease to exist, causing greater risk to the upkeep of the listed building.”

Almost 50 letters of support were sent to B&NES Council and last week it granted permission for the shed for one year – until 27th September 2022 – on the condition that it is stained a dark colour within a month to tone it down.

The planning department said that a permanent structure of this scale, material and in this location would under normal circumstances, unlikely to be supported by the council. “However, it is understood that the Old Bank shed is temporary, given the current COVID-19 situation, and there is a need for it to serve the outdoor seating for the pub.”

Keynsham Town Council flagged up concerns about it being a retrospective application in a conservation area, on a site where failures to apply for planning permission before starting work have occurred previously.

“The town council are concerned about the adherence to planning law within the town’s conservation area and the number of applications that are coming forward retrospectively, not only on this site but others. In view of this, the installation of the outdoor shed to incorporate an outside bar should be a temporary measure only and any permission should contain a condition that the shed be removed after a specified period of time. The design incorporates UPVC windows and doors which are a totally inappropriate material for a Grade II listed building extension.”

Earlier this year the pub, which had painted its facade blue without first getting listed building consent,  lost a retrospective application to revert to the colour the frontage was prior to 2019 which was restoring the top half to a cream colour and keeping blue on the ground floor.

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