Wisbech pub will not re-open as owners try to gain planning to convert it into three shops

PUBLISHED: 11:01 01 November 2019

The Case, later known as The Rift Bar, now become three shops if planners agree. The Wisbech pub say the site owners has failed. Picture; SUPPLIED

The Case, later known as The Rift Bar, now become three shops if planners agree. The Wisbech pub say the site owners has failed. Picture; SUPPLIED

Archant

A former health centre in Wisbech that was converted 13 years ago at a cost of £800,000 into a family pub/restaurant could become a block of three shops.

Owners of The Case - more recently known as the Rift Bar - closed six months ago and will not re-open say the site owners.

The pub, in the converted premises of the former Horse Fair Clinic, opened its doors in August 2006. It was originally named The Case by a Wisbech Standard competition winner.

Michael Neale from Wisbech, named the pub after The Case is Altered, a pub that was situated near the site many years ago.

The Case was opened by the Barracuda Group -which later became The Bramwell pub group before being placed in administration in 2013- initially brought about 20 full and part-time jobs.

Planning permission for change of use is now before Fenland District Council.

ATP Architects & Surveyors told planners the change of use to shops "represents a small change but will have an overall positive impact on the town centre".

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Their assessment is that transforming the empty bar and restaurant will "contribute positively towards the day time and evening economy, employment, the appearance of the site and also enable the re-use of this vacant unit".

Andrew Bennett's application for change of use on behalf of ARB comes after Savills auctioneers offered the freehold for £400,000 with a live-in tenant.

His report concludes that "by its nature, design and location, the proposal is considered appropriate for the building and is making economic use of the facility.

"It will further provide additional commercial space in an area where there is great demand throughout the district generally".

The building, which was built in 1988, consists of a restaurant and bar on the ground floor as well as flat and office space on the first floor. The plans would see "no significant modifications or alterations" made.

It adds that there would be enough room for 10-15 cars to park in front of the shops.

The report concludes that "by its nature, design and location, the proposal is considered appropriate for the building and is making economic use of the facility.

"It will further provide additional commercial space in an area where there is great demand throughout the district generally".

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