Bid to convert former Grill on the Hill into flats

A former restaurateur who gave up his Berwick eatery "due to lack of interest" has applied for the site to be converted to a three-bedroom flat.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 5:32 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd October 2021, 10:03 am
The former restaurant in Berwick.

The site in West Street, Berwick, was once the home of the popular Grill on the Hill, until it shut down in 2018.

And permission is now being sought for it to become a three-bedroom ground floor flat, after the latest closure left the owner with “substantial financial liabilities”.

According to a report by architects behind the scheme, attempts to rent outthe property have proved unsuccessful. It states: “The client has tried numerous times over the past number of years to rent out the restaurant, bar and function room, since he stopped using it himself due to lack of interest back in 2011.

“The only time the property was successfully rented out was between 2016 – 2018, with the occupier only utilising the bar and restaurant, as the function room was not worth the investment.

“Unfortunately, that business went bankrupt around two years ago, which left our client with substantial financial liabilities.”

The site was previously best known as the home of Berlino’s Steakhouse and while operating as Grill on the Hill, had a rating of 4.9 out of 5, based on more than 100 customer reviews left on its Facebook page.

According to the plans, most of the former restaurant is to be converted to a flat containing three bedrooms and a combined kitchen and living area.

However, a former entrance to a lounge and bar area of the business, which is not included on the planning application, is slated to be bricked up in the hope it will give a “greater chance of renting out the remaining smaller bar area in the future”.

In 2019, plans were approved for a function room on the building’s first floor, above the restaurant, to become a two-bedroom flat.

Further details of the proposals can be found in the planning section of Northumberland County Council’s website using the reference number 21/03954.

Any comments on the scheme can be submitted via the website until Tuesday, November 2.