Planning permission granted for gastropub replacement for former Buddies restaurant in Kingsthorpe

A new gastropub will replace the former Buddies restaurant in Kingsthorpe after being awarded planning permission.
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The pub, due to be called The Olde Cobbler, scored a change of use planning approval from Northampton Borough Council on Tuesday (February 18) just days after being awarded a licence by the authority as well.The fast food chain closed its doors at the Acre Lane site at the end of last year, and The Olde Cobbler will be the third pub to have occupied the site after The North Star and then the Moon and the Stars - both of which came before Buddies.

Some neighbours had raised concerns however at plans to revert the building to a pub. The residents attended both the licensing and planning meetings at The Guildhall within the last week.

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Isabel White, who lives on Acre Lane, told members of the planning committee: "There were many complaints from neighbours about anti-social behaviour, noise, litter and parking when it was a pub."

The former Buddies restaurant in Kingsthorpe is set to revert to being a pubThe former Buddies restaurant in Kingsthorpe is set to revert to being a pub
The former Buddies restaurant in Kingsthorpe is set to revert to being a pub

The neighbours said they were worried about the potential for noise disturbances in the early hours of the weekends, where the pub is able to open until 1am. They were also worried that the pub could sell alcohol for punters to take off premises.

But Mark Robinson, a director for the Olde Cobbler who is also a director for the Buddies chain, told councillors the pub hadn't decided on its final opening hours, and that they had no plans to sell alcohol that could be taken off premises.

Mr Robinson added: "We don't have any intentions to open for the full licensing hours, and on Sunday we plan to close considerably earlier than 11pm."

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On Friday (February 14), the licensing committee on the council had granted proposals to open the pub earlier from 8am but had rejected plans to extend the sale of alcohol until 15 minutes before closing time instead of 30 minutes. They also ordered that the decking area and doors leading to it would be closed from 9pm so as to curtail outdoors noise.

Councillor Arthur McCutcheon, a member of the planning committee, said: "The opening hours seem the main sticking point, and since this authority has the power to potentially change those, I think we should pass it now but keep an eye on it."

Members of the council's planning committee unanimously approved the change of use planning application.

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