Queen's Head pub in Castleford to become Nisa store despite objections

The Queen's Head pub in Castleford has been empty for around a year.
The Queen's Head pub in Castleford has been empty for around a year.

Plans to convert a former pub into a convenience store have been given the go ahead, despite hundreds of objections.

The derelict Queen's Head pub, on Kendal Drive in Castleford, is set to become a Nisa shop after councillors approved planning permission for the scheme.

The decision was made at Thursday's planning committee.

The decision was made at Thursday's planning committee.

A petition with 315 signatures had been submitted against the proposal, with residents complaining that a convenience store would draw an increase of heavy traffic around the area and potentially more anti-social behaviour.

But Wakefield Council's planning committee concluded the project was reasonable on Thursday, though they insisted on having the store's 22 space car park gated off at night to avoid attracting troublemakers.

Representing objectors, Alex Kear, who estimated that the pub had been shut for "around a year", said: "You only have to look at one of the local Tescos to see if a delivery vehicle can't make its stop, it will just park on the grass verge.

"Those grass verges are in an appalling state and it will take a lot to repair them.

"I know residents who would prefer to see the building used for housing. That would be good for the area.

"I'd object to it being retail because there are so many doubts around public safety and noise pollution."

Councillor Alan Wassell said he was "surprised" there were so many objections to the convenience store.

He said: "I know someone who used to drink in The Queen's Head and he's devastated it's closed. He's had to go somewhere else.

"While I appreciate your concerns about the traffic, there were brewery vehicles going down there before when it was a pub.

"If it was still a pub, guess what, they'd want to move beer deliveries in and out."

Representing the applicants, Tony Singh, said that a Nisa store would draw less anti-social behaviour than a derelict pub and create 12 jobs for the area.

Addressing residents' concerns, he said: "We can demonstrate that delivery vehicles can access the site without causing congestion, on or off the premises.

"It's unreasonable to assume that any anti-social behaviour caused elsewhere would be exacerbated by this development.

"If the site remains empty, it is a prime sight for vandalism and goodness knows what else in the future."

Wakefield Council's highways department confirmed the development was likely to generate more traffic than when The Queen's Head was open, but concluded it would not reach unreasonable or unsafe levels.

Elected members voted eight to two to approve the plans, with one abstention.

Local Democracy Reporting Service