Our two main pubs - the Black Bull and the Bear & Staff - were both closed briefly for refurbishment during January. At the Bear & Staff, the beer garden alongside the car park has been greatly increased in size, with lights strung between wooden poles to encourage evening drinking (when the weather improves!). When we queried the lack of planning permission for these new lights and outdoor tables, we were initially told that it wasn't needed, as the poles were "not permanently fixed". However, the Council's Environmental Health department could, we were told, take action against light pollution. Now the Planning Department has had a re-think, and has asked the owners to submit a planning application for the modifications that have been carried out.

At the Black Bull, the changes included the delivery of new tables, apparently to replace the wooden benches on the cobbled forecourt. However the old ones are still there - there are now 12 in all - despite the previous planning permission limiting them to a small strip across the front of the building.

Above: Photographs of the Bear & Staff (left)
and the Black Bull
(right) in February 2020

© Mike Chitty, The Gateacre Society

Read about the previous Black Bull planning permission, and the controversy over the ownership of the cobbled forecourt

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