Flats plan for city pubs gets green light at second time of asking

The Mash Tun at the top of St Benedicts Street today. Picture: Google Maps

The flats will be in this building, which was known as the Mash Tun in 2018. - Credit: Archant

Plans to convert parts of two neighbouring city pubs into half-a-dozen flats have been given the green light at the second time of asking.

A year ago this month, the Pilson Group lodged plans to make use of part of the building containing Strangers Tavern and Door 18 for six new flats.

Neither of the pubs in Charing Cross were planned to close to make way for the apartments, with the plans instead making use of vacant space to the rear of them converted into residential properties.

It had originally been planned that the property in the city centre would also be extended upwards to create additional space for the flats.

The new signs at the Strangers Tavern, formerly the Mash Tun. Photo: Archant

Plans to convert part of the Strangers Tavern into flats has been given the go ahead at the second time of asking - Credit: Archant

However, this scheme was refused by city planners amid concerns that it would dominate the skyline, cause harm to the character of the area and encroach on the neighbouring St Gregory's Church.

But now, a revised vision for the site not including the extension has been approved by city planners, with officers using delegated powers to give it the go ahead as no public objections were received.

In her report approving the scheme, case officer Maria Hammond wrote: "The front of the premises would remain in drinking establishment use with a separate operator on the ground floor and the first floor.

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"The rear and upper parts of the building (except the top floor residential flat) have historically provided extensive additional floor space to the public house.

"It is appreciated that the conversion of these areas still leaves the pub with ample space and would not compromise the viability of the pub operation. In fact, the current pub operator makes no use of these areas.

"The site is sustainably located within the city centre and is capable of accommodating residential accommodation and associated facilities."

Strangers Tavern, when it was known as the Hog in Armour. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Before becoming the Mash Tun, the pub was called the Hog in Armour - Credit: EASTERN COUNTIES NEWSPAPERS

The conversion will also see the existing top floor flat retained and will be a car-free development.

The Strangers Tavern opened under its current name in November 2019, a nod to its proximity to Strangers Hall and the city's link to the 16th century Belgian refugees.

However, it has operated under a number of names in recent years, including the Mash Tun, The Hog in Armour and Pigeons.