A businessman’s dream of opening a cellar bar in Huddersfield town centre is set to become a reality after planners gave it the green light.
Mark Robertson has finally won permission to convert the cellars at a former Grade 2 listed solicitor's office next to his real ale pub, The Plumbers Arms, on Macaulay Street by Huddersfield Bus Station.
Mark had already been granted planning permission to turn the premises, which belonged to Armitage Sykes for over 40 years, into a wine bar.
Now Tuesday’s planning approval means building work costing tens of thousands of pounds can finally start.
The plans include a conservatory extension with an external glass staircase at the back – an extension which will give Mark another five square metres.
Earlier this year he told the Examiner: “I’m very excited about developing the cellar which has lots of character.
"As well as different types of gin and wine I would sell craft beers and lagers and there would be tapas-style food.”
He bought the freehold on the last day of 2015 and says his original intention was to rent it out as offices – but there were no takers and he began to think a gin and wine bar would complement his real ale pub, situated next door.
A report by Kirklees Council regarding the approving of Listed Building Consent said: “Officers held concerns over the initial design of the proposed extensions. Discussions took place between officers and the applicant which resulted in an amended plan being provided. Based on the amended plan officers were supportive of the proposal.”
A change of use application was also approved following negotiations between officers and the applicant.
Mark added: “It’s not an ideal time to start building work but obtaining planning permission has taken more than six months.”
Kirklees councillor Andrew Cooper, who represents the area, said: “It’s really good that we have a variety of different drinking establishments in the town from upmarket wine bars to real ale bars.
“Variety is what we need to attract different people to the area and that’s got to be a good thing.”