Relief for Garston bar as council planning battle ends in victory

Paul Maloney working on his new pub in Garston
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo)

The owners of a Garston craft ale bar are breathing a sigh of relief after winning a planning battle with the city council.

Web designer Paul Maloney and his wife Braidy submitted a change of use application to Liverpool Council to open their new establishment - Solomon’s Tap Room - on St Mary’s Road, Garston, last year. After being forced to resubmit their terms in March, Paul faced an uncertain wait when he opened the venue last month.

Now, the local authority has signed off on its approval of the new bar afer its planning committee met earlier today.

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Found in the former Stalbridge Hotel, the bar - which welcomed customers for the first time on May 4 despite not yet securing planning approval - focuses on craft beer as Paul and his family look to bring something different to the area.

The business is named after Solomon Fisher, whose business the building was originally built for.

Speaking previously, Paul expressed worry about facing a lengthy delay for a decision on planning permission, with applications not being processed until June owing to this month’s local elections. The business owner said he had already spent £5,000 alone on stock.

The building is brick constructed with decorative detailing and brick piers at ground floor level. The application sought full planning permission to change the use of part of the ground floor of the building from a guesthouse to craft bar in Sui Generis use class, together with associated external alterations including the addition of double doors to the front elevation.

The craft bar is open from 11am to 11pm daily and employs six members of staff.

Messages of support have been received by the authority for the application, including a petition of 370 signatures ahead of the meeting, as well as 19 letters of support. Planning officers said the previously vacant unit had now been brought back into use to “bolster” the area.

There is no off-site parking provision but the premises is located in a highly accessible location and given the small size of the proposed bar which is likely to mainly attract local trade, no concerns are raised in relation to impacts on the local network and parking.

Cllr Julie Fadden told the planning committee meeting the bar was an “opportunity” for the centre of Garston while Cllr William Shortall praised Mr Maloney for his “entrepreneurial” spirit in opening a new business “offering something different.” Ward member Cllr Sam Gorst said the venue “epitomises the regeneration needed for Garston.”

Members agreed to approve the plans.

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