A QUESTION mark hangs over the future of a historic pub at Stretton, Warrington, following a new planning application.
The application to the borough council’s planning department is for a change of use for the Ring ‘O’ Bells, in Northwich Road, Stretton.
But applicants Causeway Electrical Services Ltd, of Stockton Heath, have not specified what use they wish to put the building to – only that it would be “Class E.”
In planning terms, that means that if planning consent was granted it could be a shop, café, restaurant, office, GP surgery, light industry, gym, creche – and many other uses.
The Ring ‘O’ Bells dates from the early 1800s although it had several previous names, including The Rose and Crown and The Crown. It became the Ring ‘O’ Bells in 1891.
It has struggled to survive for years and closed in 2020 to re-open as the Stretton Bar and Grill, only to close again in August this year.
In 2016 it was saved when Stretton Parish Council succeeded in getting it designated an asset of community value – despite objections from the brewery which then owned it and claimed it only sold 70 barrels of beer a year.
At one time, boules – the French version of bowls – was introduced on a corner of the car park in an effort to increase trade in the tiny pub.
The applicant says there would be no significant alterations to the building if planning approval was granted. It would still have a car park with spaces for 24 vehicles