Change-of-use for historic pub – but to what?


PLANNING chiefs at Warrington have given the go-ahead for a change of use of a historic pub – although it is not clear exactly what it will be changed to.

The Ring “O” Bells at Stretton will cease to be a pub – but it is hoped it will continue to serve the local community in some way.
Applicants Causeway Electrical Services, of Stockton Heath say they expect the 200-year-old building to be used for one of the following uses:

*A shop selling goods other than hot food;
*The sale of food and drink for consumption mostly on the premises.
*Professional services, other than medical.
*Research and development of products or processes.
*Industrial processes.

The planning consent appears to be a possibly final, desperate attempt to preserve the historic pub building for the local community.
The Ring “O” Bells dates from the early 1800s, although it has had several difference names.

It has struggled to survive for years and closed in 2020 to re-open as the Stretton Bar and Grill, only to close again shortly afterwards.
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.
But it was removed from the list in 2021.
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.
Three local residents have expressed concern that the range of possible uses is too wide.
But planning officers said approving the application will hopefully result in the building remaining in active use and continuing to service the local community


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  1. Well that’s one version of events – the truth is it’s been bought by a local developer and resident, Mr Alan Thwaites who bid against others who wanted to keep it as a pub. He is the owner of Causeway Electrics. Usually local residents save community assets of such age but clearly not here. His intention, as far as we know, in the short term at least is to turn it into offices. What community asset is that?

    • Hi Julie – it is not a “version of events” it is a factual report of the recent history of the pub to the best of our knowledge and details from the official planning document which has been approved by the council. We would love to hear from the new owner on his plans for the future of the building so we can update our readers.

      • Hi Gary – Our knowledge on this issue is pretty extensive having lived close by and used the pub for over 30 years. What your article didn’t say was that the buyer is a local resident who lives only yards from the pub and who has a long history of upsetting local residents with his local development proposals.

        • The recent history of the pub is that set out in the statement supporting the Planning Application.

          Apart fro the obvious problems arising from Covid the pub has suffered in recent years as the Pub company
          allowed the living accommodation to fall into disrepair. The pub particularly suits a couple who live on the premises,
          but in recent years the state of disrepair has failed to attract that type of tenant.
          Nonetheless prior to closure the pub was being run by the former tenants of the Chetwode Arms and business was thriving.
          Whatever the short term use of the property it will inevitably end up being
          developed for housing.

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