Wine bar gains added function

PUBLISHED: 13:23 23 January 2006 | UPDATED: 21:39 28 May 2010

OWNERS of a March wine bar have won a battle to transform the first floor of the building into a function room. Work can now go ahead at Bar 23 following a successful appeal by PBG Food & Leisure Ltd against Fenland District Council's decision to refuse

OWNERS of a March wine bar have won a battle to transform the first floor of the building into a function room.Work can now go ahead at Bar 23 following a successful appeal by PBG Food & Leisure Ltd against Fenland District Council's decision to refuse permission for the new project. The plan for the Wisbech Road bar was turned down by the council in June last year. Main issue under consideration by the appeal inspector was the effect on road safety from proposed parking arrangements. And he has set a condition that car parking bays are marked out and an extra three spaces provided.The Fenland District-Wide Local Plan requires new development to have adequate access, parking, manouvering and amenity space but states an exception may be considered where the proposal will bring back into use an under-used, vacant or derelict building in a built-up area.While no parking standards are specified for a function room, they are given for restaurant, bar and public house uses.Bar 23 stands on the corner of Wisbech Road and Norwood Road with some off-street parking. There are a number of buildings used for commerical uses nearby.Plans for the function room will involve demolishing several internal walls in an area previously used for living accommodation and storage. Part of the proposal involves reorganising the existing car park and also providing an extra three spaces at the back of the building.The council believed car parking provision would be significantly short of what is needed.Representation from Bar 23 said because customers are drinking, many travel by foot, mini bus, taxi or share cars.The appeal found that some overflow of parking on nearby roads would not result in any significant problems of congestion or highway safety.A condition put forward by the council to ban the function room being used on Sundays and bank holidays was also thrown out by the inspector.

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