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June 28, 2021

Former Knutsford card shop could be transformed into micropub

A shop which has lain empty for more than a year could soon be brought back into use – as a micropub.

On Church Hill card and gift shop in Knutsford closed down in December 2019, but the property hasn’t been in use since (image above).

Now, Neil Rees, of R & R Hospitality, has applied to Cheshire East Council seeking prior approval to change the use of the building from retail to hospitality.

In his application, Mr Rees pledged to invest significantly in the building to restore it sympathetically while looking to incorporate its history into the renovation.

He said: “We would like to convert the existing empty property that hasn’t been in use for more than a year, which was previously used for retail purposes, into a micropub, serving real ales and sharing food platters.

“We will invest a significant sum of money to sympathetically restore and enhance the existing features within the property, and where possible we will look to improve the building's energy efficiency.

“We will also employ an architect with experience in developing old buildings to fulfil its potential and use local tradespeople/materials to complete the work and to prevent the building from getting into a further state of disrepair.

“We are currently researching the building and would love to incorporate its history into the development, preserving a small part of Knutsford’s history.

“The external facade of the building will remain unaltered.

“However, external signs of disrepair will be made good, in keeping with the aesthetics of the building.”

As part of his submission to the council, Mr Rees also looked to assuage any concerns nearby residents may have with the proposal.

He added: “We will not allow groups of people to congregate outside the property.

“All windows will be closed at a reasonable hour, and the doors will not be left open.

“Any music will be kept at a level that will not disturb any local residents.

“Management will be asked to monitor noise levels at regular interviews throughout the evening and record any instances that occur.

“We will take appropriate action to mitigate the impact on local residents.”

The planned operating hours of the pub would be from 12pm to 11pm Monday to Friday, from 12pm to 12am on Saturdays and from 12pm to 10pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

Mr Rees also addressed a potential issue which could arise with deliveries to the pub.

He said: "We will be mindful of the suppliers that we use, and wherever possible we will request that smaller vehicles are used for deliveries to the property.

"Our suppliers can use the car park to the rear to make their deliveries, minimising the disruption on Church Hill.

"For those arriving to the premises by car, we will signpost them to the car parks in the town.

"With our very close proximity to the train station, our customers will undoubtedly be encouraged to utilise public transport – helping to minimise additional carbon emissions in the town."

“We will take appropriate action to mitigate the impact on local residents.”
Neil Rees, R & R Hospitality
Article reproduced with thanks to Knutsford Guardian
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