Inspector rules that pub turned Indian restaurant can't be considered a community asset

A landowner has won the right to build a house in the car park of a former Shropshire pub.

The pub as it was in 2011. Photo: Google
The pub as it was in 2011. Photo: Google

Landowner Raj Patel applied for outline permission to build a house behind The Lion Inn – which now operates as Bharat Indian restaurant/takeaway – at Waters Upton.

Telford & Wrekin Council had refused the plan, and objectors had claimed it was a community asset.

But planning inspector Helen Smith said that restaurants can't be considered in the same way as pubs.

"The Lion Inn is currently operating as the Bharat Indian restaurant/takeaway and is therefore no longer a public house," the inspector wrote in her decision letter on July 28.

"There is no substantive evidence before me that the restaurant is a local amenity that should be protected as a community asset.

"Although a restaurant provides opportunities for people to meet and socialise, it does not provide the same function as the informal and communal setting offered by a public house."

She said a community policy in the local plan was not relevant to use as it "seeks to preserve existing community facilities, such as public houses, which the building is no longer used as."

The inspector also said there is no clear evidence to support complaints about possible noise and disturbance from lights in the car park.

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