Plans were previously provisionally passed in April last year to convert the former Pulse in Church Street into a gin bar, student gallery and coffee shop, and five apartments.
However this was subject to the completion of a section 106 agreement to secure financial developer contributions to the council to go towards green infrastructure and sports facilities in Hartlepool, totalling just under £4,000.
The applicant, Mr T Bates did not complete the agreement, leading to the plans having to go before Hartlepool Borough Council Planning Committee again, without the financial obligations.
Councillors still unanimously agreed to give the plans, which will take up 25 and 26 Church Street, along with the upper floors of 27, the go-ahead.
They agreed with the council officer recommendations for the plans, with planning team leader Daniel James stating the ‘regeneration benefits’ of the proposal meant it was acceptable.
He said: “The applicant has now advised they are not willing to enter into the legal agreement to pay the developer contributions.
“The uses proposed are appropriate for the town centre location and in principle the proposals offer the opportunity to bring a currently vacant premises in a prominent location back into active use.
“Whilst it is very disappointing that the obligations are no longer agreed, the property is one of the key buildings in the Church Street revival of the townscape heritage project area.
“On balance the proposed development of the site is acceptable in planning terms.”
The change of use will enable the applicant to subdivide the bar on the ground floor into separate units for the gin bar and student gallery/coffee shop.
The plans also state the gin bar will be able to open until 2am.
Five residential apartments will then be supplied on the upper floors, and council officers assured a noise assessment will take place and the sites will be suitably soundproofed.
New shop fronts with retractable canopies to allow for outdoor seating are also included as part of the application.
A design and access statement from planning agents Davis Planning Partnership stated how the development would be popular in the area.
It said: “There is a close relationship between the proposed uses and the student and young person population in the town and the proposed residential accommodation would appeal to both students and persons wanting to live close to the town centre.”