A FORMER pie and mash cafe in Skipton's Coach Street has been granted permission for a change of use into a bar.

The two-storey property is the former Saxon pie shop which has been empty since it closed in February 2021.

The planning and heritage statement from the applicant's agent, JR Planning, read: "The plans are for a main bar area and snug are to be created on the ground floor, with a sports lounge and ancillary staff and office space upstairs. The external courtyard, which was previously used as external dining space, will be used as an attractive outdoor seating area.

"The bar will be a high-end venue aimed at the families, couples and older clientele. It will not be a ‘vertical drinking’ establishment and none of the problems associated with such uses will apply here. The use will contribute positively to the vitality and economy of the town centre through generating footfall, linked trips and employment.

"It will create a new destination that will contribute positively to achieving stated aims to boost social interaction and the tourism offer in the town centre."

The unoccupied premises currently has a premises license which controls the hours in relation to consumption of alcohol; live music; recorded music; and dance performances. Due to the structural changes on the proposed plans, this would increase the licensable area of alcohol. The applicant is required to vary the premises license.

The planning officer's report stated: "It is considered that the proposed use would attract people into the town centre and boost the night-time economy. Given the number of cafés currently within Skipton Town Centre, it is considered that the loss of this (former food premises) would not have a significant impact on the remainder of the town. The site is also both highly accessible and well connected to the town centre. 

"In conclusion it is considered that the proposal would not harm the vitality and viability of the centre and the principle of development is acceptable in accordance with Local Plan policies.

"Full planning permission is granted."

Conditions imposed to protect the amenity the area include: The hours of use are restricted to Monday to Sunday (including public holidays) 11am to 11pm. 

The external areas of the premises shall not be used by customers between 11pm and 8am.

No deliveries shall be received or dispatched from the premise outside the hours of 8am to 6pm nor at any time on Sundays or public holidays.

The disposal of waste bottles into external receptacles shall not take place between the hours of 11pm to 8am.