CAMPAIGNERS opposing the conversion of a landmark pub into a Tesco Express have a new concern.
Plans for the convenience store on the ground-floor of the Black Bull, at Huddersfield Road, Mirfield, have been opposed by residents and the owners of existing businesses.
Permission was granted for a ramp for the disabled to be built outside the historic pub back in November 2010, provided it was in “reclaimed stone”.
However, residents and councillors have now discovered the new ramp has been made using red brick, which is “not in keeping’’ with the building.
Clr Martyn Bolt said: “On the planning application it said originally the ramp would be constructed of reclaimed stone, which would have been something in keeping with the character of the Black Bull.
“The application was approved in 2010 and originally we thought it was a disabled ramp to facilitate a pub business.
“We were then told that the developers came forward with a non-material amendment – which allowed it to be transformed from reclaimed stone to red brick.
“The applicant didn’t have to re-advertise and nobody was given a chance to oppose the change because it comes under the title of a non-material amendment.
“In 2002, a group of residents were granted approval from Kirklees Council for a planning document, the Mirfield Design Statement, which outlines the planning criteria of the town.
“It states that existing buildings and features of architectural or historical importance should be retained whenever possible.
“This latest move was all done behind closed doors and no-one changed or updated this on the website page where the planning application is listed.”
It is understood that Tesco is leasing the ground-floor from the Black Bull’s landlord.
A spokeswoman for Kirklees Council said: “The development being undertaken is not by Tesco.
“The original planning permission was granted for Morgan, Davis and Marine Ltd for erection of a ground and first-floor extension and formation of disabled access ramp.
“In May 2011 the applicants, Morgan, Davis and Marine Ltd, submitted an application for a non-material amendment for changes to the approved scheme.
“This included changing the facing material for the exposed walls of the ramp to buff brick from reclaimed stone.
“The non-material amendment has been approved and there would be no breach of the planning permission provided the ramp is faced with a buff brick.
“A non-material amendment is to be read together with the original planning permission, it has made what have been deemed to be ‘non-material’ changes to the overall scheme.
“The Mirfield Design Statement 2002 is supplementary planning guidance to the Unitary Development Plan.
“Policies in the UDP also set out design policies which were taken into account in the assessment of the application.’’