Without planning permission, the Royal Oak (Mosborough), was recently demolished. The owners, Bar 24 Ltd., have to apply for retrospective planning permission. Their assertion is that toxic waste was dumped in the car park, and the situation became so bad that the only option was to demolish the pub. The building dated from 1843, becoming a beerhouse in 1870.
Clive Betts, the local MP disagrees, ‘the issue of the toxic waste and chemical spills on the site is in my view a red herring. There has been a problem with toxic chemicals but the explanation from the owners that they contacted the Environment Agency about demolition does not in any way obviate the need to apply for planning permission to demolish: the two are separate issues.’
Sheffield and District CAMRA agree with Clive. In October, environmental experts assessed the situation and didn’t find anything to justify demolition. This suggests that the spillage has been used as a pretext for taking short cuts to potentially secure profitable redevelopment of the site. Surely waste could have been removed without having to knock down the pub.
We also believe objections to the anticipated planning application should initially focus on the importance of retaining pub use on the site and the lack of any justification for the demolition. The Carlton Tavern (London) sets a clear precedent.
This Carlton closed in April 2015: then two days before Historic England was due to recommend the pub be granted Grade II listed status, the owners demolished the building, without planning permission. They expected a £5000 fine. However, Westminster Council had a different opinion. They ordered the owners: CTLX, to rebuild the Carlton brick by brick. Earlier this year, having been totally rebuilt, it re-opened.
Sheffield and District CAMRA will comment when the planning application for demolition is submitted to SCC Planning. We encourage you to do the same.