Another Deeside pub lost after plans to turn Hare and Hounds into flats given green light
Councillors have mourned the loss of another pub in granting planning approval for 11 new flats in Connah’s Quay.
The Hare and Hounds pub on the town’s High Street will be converted into a mix of eight one-bed and three two-bed apartments.
Flintshire Council’s planning committee approved the application at a time where there is a huge shortage of private rental properties across the county.
In a report submitted to the committee, chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said property agents have been seeing a boom in enquiries since the pandemic, up from five a day to now between 60 and 80 a day.
Last month members deferred making a decision on the application due to concerns about a lack of parking being made available.
Ward member, Connah’s Quay Central Cllr Bernie Attridge (Ind) had originally been against the proposals – giving highway and parking concerns, anti-social behaviour risks and excessive numbers of flats in the area as reasons for refusal.
But at last month’s meeting he said he would be happy to see the application approved if the developer could find a way to add a further six parking spaces on land behind the pub.
At this month’s meeting Cllr Attridge expressed his support for the application, and applicant, despite his wish to see the pub remain.
He said: “I’ll be honest if there was any planning policy or grounds that I could have got this application refused on then I wouldn’t be here approving it.
“Local people just wanted to keep the Hare and Hounds as a local pub, but we know pubs are closing all over the place, people don’t use them anymore.”
Buckley Pentrobin Cllr Richard Jones (Ind) added: “It’s a shame that another public house has been lost and we’ve been left with just the memories of local people, which has happened in our area, Ewloe, Buckley, Mold as well as other places.
“It’s just a shame planning doesn’t include emotion, that we lose such a building and we’re just left with flats but there we are.”
Mold East Cllr Chris Bithell (Lab) also mourned the loss of the pub but said such developments were vital in meeting the need for accommodation in the area.
“I share the comments that have been made”, he said.
“We don’t like to lose public houses but then I don’t drink as much as I once did so I’m part of the problem really in relation to that.
“But there are alternative public houses in the locality a short distance from the building. We’re not losing a building, it will be kept as such, not as a pub but to outward appearances it will very much be the same as it is now.
“It is retaining an old building and making good use of it because whether we like it or not there’s obviously a need for this type of accommodation – 997 people on the waiting list for a one-bedroom flat, a third of them in the Connah’s Quay are, so there’s obviously a demand.”
The committee granted the application but expressed hope that the sign and name of the former pub could be retained in some way as part of the new development.
By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter
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