Pub expansion plan approval
A proposal to extend a Northumberland pub and hotel to cater primarily for shooting parties has received the green light.
The prospective new owners of the Black Bull Inn at Lowick, which have country sports interests at nearby Hetton Steads, plan to extend to the side and rear of the building to create a private dining room and lounge/bar area.
The application has been approved by Northumberland County Council, with planning officers noting that the proposal will help secure existing employment at the site.
Black Bull Management Services, which intends to take on the freehold from September 1, says the local area attracts a considerable number of paying guests, many from overseas, to enjoy the extensive game shooting opportunities.
A planning report on their behalf states: ‘These operators are keen to make use of local facilities and services to provide convenient and high-quality hospitality for their paying guests throughout the shooting season over the winter months.
‘From time to time they have been making use of the letting rooms at the Black Bull, but this is not always easy to arrange in the most convenient manner and the intention in buying the pub is to create a better, dedicated facility specifically for the exclusive use of the shooting guests staying at the hotel.’
During the summer months, the proposed new private dining facility would also be made available for small private parties.
The intention is to create a collection of rooms that can be separately accessed from the outside to provide private dining and lounge facilities for paying guests in groups of, typically, six to 12 individuals.
There are also plans for toilet facilities and a boot room for those returning from shoots, along with a link for guests to walk directly to their bedrooms and for staff to service the guest facilities without having to leave the building.
The pub, established in 1817, has been extensively restored by locally-led management company LEKT Property Ltd since it bought the freehold in 2015.
The venue recently re-opened after a period of closure due to the coronavirus lockdown.