Planning submitted at former Little Bollington pub site

Plans for the Stamford Arms site

A planning application has been submitted at the former Stamford Arms pub in Little Bollington, more recently known as Home Bar & Grill, by local developer Novo Property Group.

The plans include the restoration and conversion of the pub building and coach houses into nine affordable apartments and five town houses, respectively, along with four new-build family houses on the former car park.

The buildings themselves, constructed in the early 20th century in a mock-Tudor Edwardian style, have been left empty since the pub closed in July 2012.

Subsequent water ingress and vandalism have left the buildings in a dilapidated state.

Novo purchased the property in September 2019 after it failed to sell at auction, with the ambition to bring these important and impressive buildings back to life.

Ben Fearns, Novo managing director, said: “After purchasing the Stamford Arms site, the extent of interest in the building from local and wider communities immediately became apparent to us.

“From neighbours, right through to bikers who travelled from all over the UK to visit the pub in its heyday, The Stamford Arms clearly left a lasting impression, not only on those who visited, but also those who admired its architectural qualities.

“As a local developer the significance of this building is not lost on us, indeed, we have staff members who frequented the pub in its better days.

Proposals for the site

“The passion shown for the buildings, particularly from the local residents, indicated to us that this would be no ‘standard’ planning application, and that a great deal of listening and learning from a wide range of stakeholders would be required to enable us to deliver a successful development for the site.”

He added: The resulting conversations with local stakeholders, particularly the parish, and the suggestions and feedback they produced, have significantly informed our design development, leading to the production of a development that is a far cry from the one initially envisaged.

“From the removal of a proposed community building that was deemed surplus to requirements, to an increase in parking provision on site, this development is distinctly informed by local knowledge, and as a result is one that far better suits the needs and requirements of Little Bollington.

“Whilst reopening the pub to its former use has proven to be an unsustainable proposition, through this development we are able to restore the building to ensure it has a sustainable future.

“This full preservation and restoration of the Stamford Arms buildings has been a key driver in our design development, and all other proposals on the site have been carefully weighed and appraised to realise this.”

He continued: “The new-build homes have been carefully and sympathetically designed by Architects Project 3 to complement the main building whilst remaining subservient, and to suit the local vernacular without appearing pastiche.

“This, combined with the natural shielding gifted to the green belt by the site’s existing established trees and hedgerows, allows us to deliver a development that enables us to meet our key goals of saving the deteriorating buildings and providing affordable homes, whilst minimising impact to the green belt.

“Throughout this process the site has thrown up many constraints, and along with the COVID-19 pandemic, we anticipate it to throw up many more in the months to come.

Stamford Arms site design

“However, these are challenges that we are prepared and eager to tackle as we push ahead with this development and look to invest in the local economy, protect a locally significant building, and deliver affordable and family homes for the area.”

Local ward councillor, Kate Parkinson, said: “Novo’s proposed development conveys a good balance of warmth and sensitivity to the historical usage of the buildings and also the Little Bollington residents’ concerns and thoughts about the development, which have demonstratively been listened to throughout the process so far.

“I feel, like the residents, that the design of the proposed development is in keeping with the style of the other properties in the surrounding area, and is a welcome addition to what is a sadly dilapidated and unloved site.

“I remember the building in its former glory, so I feel the dedication and thought process that has gone into restoring the main and outer buildings, while adding modern, but subtle, elements to create a fresh look and feel to the external design is commendable.

“I am also pleased that Novo has stated that there is a 50% allocation of affordable homes, giving young families and couples the chance to buy in an area of outstanding natural beauty.”

Novo is also in the process of building a webpage to record the history of the Stamford Arms Pub to ensure its memory is preserved for future generations.

The project team behind the development includes Project 3 as architects, Land Studio as landscape architects, Avison Young as planning consultants and Civic Engineers as structural and civil engineers, with Little Betty Design and Dave & Co producing graphic materials.