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DARLASTON PUB: Struggling pub to become business centre

DARLASTON PUB: Struggling pub to become business centre

Image: LDRS

Objectors who tried to keep a closed Darlaston pub becoming a business centre have been told they should have used it before losing it.

Members of Walsall Council’s planning committee agreed a proposal by Jacob Asset Management to convert The Frying Pan in Bilston Street into a business centre.

In their application, pub bosses said the venue had been struggling even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck and it wasn’t viable to reopen it.

The plans sparked objections and an on-line petition calling for the Frying Pan to be retained as a public house attracted more than 500 signatures.

But committee chairman Mike Bird said a lack of trade was the reason for its closure and leaving it sitting empty would only attract anti-social behaviour.

He said: “I find it amusing when people say we want to keep the pub and it’s been closed.

“It’s the old story – use it or lose it. I find it amazing that people want to put a petition to keep a pub where they haven’t been using it.

“Publicans are in business to make a profit and sadly if it hasn’t made a profit, that’s why it has closed.

“What we don’t want to see is as well all know, redundant pubs becoming tip sites. We have got many around the borough.”

Darlaston ward councillor Paul Bott added: “Vacant pubs create vandalism and the people live by these – they have a nightmare.

“We must welcome what this will become. A business centre will create some jobs in Darlaston.”

The business centre will see 12 self-contained offices created on the ground floor of the premises. A fish and chip shop and a first floor flat will remain as part of the development.

Members voted to give the go-ahead for the new business centre, subject to conditions.

 

Words: Gurdip Thandi, Local Democracy Reporter


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