The Co-operative Group has said it is “disappointed” by the decision to reject plans for a new store in Barrow-upon-Humber.

Permission was being sought from North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee to convert the Royal Oak pub in the village into a Co-op food store with car parking spaces for 13 vehicles.

The plans also included demolishing an existing outbuilding which lies within a conservation area.

A spokesman for the Co-op said: “We are naturally disappointed with the decision and will now take some time to consider our options.”

The scheme was discussed by the planning committee at its latest meeting, held in Scunthorpe Civic Centre.

At the meeting, Robert Whittaker, a resident of the village, argued that the pub is one of the oldest buildings in the area and that residents who were surveyed about the plans rejected them.

He said: “The impact of the proposals way outweigh the benefits.

“We had a 30 per cent response rate from residents that were surveyed and of that number, 86 per cent refused the change of the Royal Oak.”

Further objections were made regarding traffic flow and noise.

Mr Whittaker argued that the Co-op had not interacted with the residents of Barrow.

He said: “Residents have refused these plans and we feel that this should be brought to the committee’s attention.

“There is an overwhelming desire to reject this application.”

Matthew Brooke, an agent representing the Co-operative Group, said he understood the objections to the plans but felt they could be easily addressed.

He said: “The building is not protected and if it were, it would have been listed with Historic England.

“As for the objections on traffic flow, we feel that there is a solution to that.”

Mr Brooke added that he felt if the committee had concerned about the application, they should refer it to a planning officer to help come to a solution.

However, councillors from the Ferry ward said they felt the pub conversion would ruin the character of the village.

Councillor Richard Hannigan said the response to the resident survey was remarkable.

He said: “The Royal Oak is one of the oldest buildings in the area and converting it into a shop would ruin the character of the market square.

“The question of whether or not Barrow needs another shop should be asked.”

Fellow ward member Councillor Peter Clarke agreed and asked that the committee refuse permission.

The committee rejected the plans on the grounds that there was no noise assessment, as well as concerns about transport and the heritage of the building.
Read more at the Scunthrorpe Telegraph.