Valued community pub ‘ripped to bits with no consideration’ without planning permission

A pub which was partially demolished without planning permission is set to be knocked down completely and turned into a plush home if proposals get the green light.

The former Sutton Arms, at Elton, saw diggers move in to start work without prior approval.

But retrospective planning permission has been lodged to Stockton Council to convert the former pub into a five-bedroom home.

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The plans have sparked some objections from villagers over the loss of the pub.

The former Sutton Arms, at Elton

One resident wrote to say: “The Sutton Arms is a valued community pub and it should stay that way.

“It’s been ripped to bits with no consideration to the village or the planning laws.”

Design documents show the proposed five bedroom home would be created at the former pub with an extension to the rear and side.

A report stated: “On this occasion, the proposed dwelling would utilise a redundant public house, which if not redeveloped would result in a vacant building, which would potentially impact on the character of the nearby village.

“Careful structured soft landscaping, to supplement the existing established hedges and trees, would provide privacy for the occupants from Darlington Road to the south, A66 to the northern boundary and screening when viewed from the village.”

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The pub closed its doors in September 2020.

Developers applied for permission to demolish the existing building and create a new home in November that year.

But Stockton Council refused the bid as it would have resulted in the permanent loss of the pub – and was deemed to be a “poor form of design” out of keeping with the area.

A planning statement argued that the Sutton Arms was sold “on a bricks and mortar basis” in September 2020, rather than a pub as a “going concern”.

It stated the pub had been “struggling financially for some time”.

The statement added: “The ongoing use for the public house is clearly unviable, and it would have taken a significant amount of investment to modernise/refurbish the pub so that it could compete with the modern market.”

When asked if the council had taken enforcement action in the wake of the demolition , Councillor Nigel Cooke, cabinet member for regeneration and housing, said they were waiting for more information before they could fully consider the redevelopment.

He added: “As this process is ongoing, we cannot currently carry out any enforcement action as this could pre-empt the determination of the planning application.”