‘High end’ venue banking on dream passing big hurdle

The former NatWest Bank branch in Poulton could become a new bar.
The former NatWest Bank branch in Poulton could become a new bar.
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Proposals for a new high class pub in Poulton are set to go before councillors again – this time for a date with planners.

Inns and Leisure Ltd hopes to set up the new venue, to be named Stocks and Shillings, in the former NatWest Bank premises on Market Place opposite the famous old stocks.

The scheme has already been given the green light by Wyre’s licensing committee back in June.

Next week it is to go before planners for ‘change of use’ consent, from a bank to a licensed premises, with officers recommending the scheme for approval.

Despite this, the proposals are proving controversial.

The firm intends to make the venue a ‘high end’ establishment with sofas, a mezzanine floor, and alternative food such as tapas.

If the project goes ahead, it will bring four full-time and 16 part-time jobs, and would open from 10am until 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 10am until 12.30am from Sunday to Thursday.

However, some residents in the historic market town say the town already has more than enough bars and desperately needs more daytime shops instead, to bolster the high street.

Within just days of a public notice being put up at former bank, back in May, there were more than 100 comments on the site of Facebook group Poulton-le-Fylde Chat, with some raising concerns about late night drinking and anti-social behaviour.

Despite this, there are few objections lodged with planners. Among the objectors is Poulton Historical Society, which has written in to oppose it.

It supports the preservation of the “prominent building” and facade, but objects to the coal hole being reinstated for beer to be delivered.

Coun David Henderson, representing Breck ward, is also opposing it on similar grounds.

Officers are recommending the scheme be approved, with no less than 14 conditions, including requirements over operating hours, noise levels, the times music can be played and stipulation, for pedestrian safety and public highway reasons, that all deliveries be made via the rear of the premises.

Inns and Leisure Ltd declined to comment at this stage.