A FORMER pub on a Hartlepool housing estate has been given the green light to be made into new retail units.
Planning permission has been granted by Hartlepool Borough Council for external works on the former Mowbray watering hole, on the Fens.
It will allow the building to be transformed into three retail units.
Residents living near to the pub lodged a series of concerns and objections over the application.
They included fears of anti-social behaviour if the units are used for an off-licence and litter if there was to be a takeaway.
The loss of a community facility and impact the development could have on property values were among other objections.
But planning officers at the council said those concerns and issues linked to the potential use of the new units were not material objections to deciding permission.
Councillors agreed permission for alterations to windows and shop fronts to create three retail units as well as the building of a boundary wall, fence and service gates.
A report by senior planning officer Sinead Turnbull said the empty pub was of “no significant architectural merit”.
She added: “The key considerations in the determination of this application are the visual impacts of the proposed alterations and any impacts the proposed development will have on the amenity of neighbouring properties.
“It is considered that the proposed alterations to the building would be in keeping with the character and appearance of the building, the site and the surrounding area.
“The proposed alterations to the building and the boundary treatments would be acceptable within the street scene and would not be detrimental to the visual amenity of the area.”
Other objectors claimed not enough people had been consulted and said they would prefer to see the building used as housing for families or the elderly.
Euro Property Management has bought the former pub and is investing thousands of pounds into re-developing it.
Works to the inside of the building has already started and three national chains are said to have shown an interest in moving in.
The development did not need planning permission for a change of use to go from a pub to shops.