Pub set for £150,000 revamp

A POPULAR pub is set for a £150,000 revamp after councillors backed improvement plans.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee has approved plans by the owners of the Fens Hotel, in Catcote Road, to give the outside a facelift.

The 1960’s-style wooden timber cladding will be removed and replaced with masonry alongside new windows and new canopies at the two entrances to the pub.

Councillors backed the plans by owners Enterprise Inns, and the work could start by the end of the year.

Members said it was important to support businesses in the current climate, and the plans were unanimously backed.

The application originally included plans to install an outside seating area but that part was removed ahead of the meeting.

Concerned residents argued that a seating area could have created “unacceptable levels of noise and anti-social behaviour”.

Agent Tom Wilson, of Wolviston-based TJ Design Studio, spoke on behalf of Enterprise Inns at the meeting.

He told councillors that the plans would improve the disabled access and also reduce the sound coming from the pub.

Mr Wilson added that ongoing investment was vital to the future of the pub.

Independent councillor Geoff Lilley said he understood the concerns of residents about the seating area but added that he was happy to be supporting the investment in the pub.

Labour councillor Jonathan Brash said: “We should absolutely be supporting this.

“We should be supporting pubs like this. They are the focal point of the community.

“I will certainly be supporting this.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Wilson said: “Councillor Brash summed up our position and we are pleased that it has the support of the local community and the local authority.

“The external seating area would have been an additional benefit to the pub, but sometimes you have to compromise.

“The 1960’s-style wooden timber and glazed curtain walling will be removed to make it look like more of a pub.

“There will also be new windows installed too.”