Flats plan is giving rock venue the blues

Debbi and Kevin Pegram, owners of the pub
Debbi and Kevin Pegram, owners of the pub

A long established live music hotspot in Lancaster is at risk of closure if plans for new flats next door are given the go ahead.

Kevin and Debbi Pegram bought The Pub, in China Street, in 2006, and have built up their business into a popular and thriving live music venue.

But new plans for a three storey building in a vacant space next door, which include apartments on the first and second floors, threaten the nightspot’s existence if residents were to move in and complain about the noise.

The Pub hosts live music and DJs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and while not opposed to the site being developed, the Pegrams believe that their business will suffer if part of the proposed development becomes residential flats.

The couple, who bought the pub because of its city centre location away from people’s homes, say that the development will also block out all of their natural light at the back of their property.

Debbi said: “There is an online petition and so far nearly 600 people have signed it, some from as far away as Australia, France and Canada.

“People come to The Pub from all over the place. We’ve had no complaints in nine years. This is our livelihood and our pension.

“Lancaster is renowned as a city of music, but you can’t have it both ways.

“This is a city centre, and there are two other live music venues close by, so residential just doesn’t fit with the area.”

Kevin added: “It would be great to have it developed but just not with accommodation. We’d be pretty much dead without the bands.”

The proposals for 49 China Street, by Lancaster based Ashby Properties, are for a three storey building with a ground floor shop/office unit and separate entrance and stair access to self contained apartments on the first and second floors with a room in the roof space.

Hugh Roberts, from Lancaster Civic Society, said: “The Civic Society warmly welcomes proposals to develop this long derelict, empty site on one of the city’s main thoroughfares.

“The front elevation proposed is sympathetic to the adjoining buildings and matches their fenestration. We would like to see quoins on the southern end of the three story section, to match the right hand side of the frontages.”

Lancaster City Council said that planning permission would be delegated to council officers, and will not be brought before the planning committee, but Ward Coun Dave Brookes said: “In view of the public interest in this, I’ll be calling it in.”

The link to the petition is www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-live-music-at-the-pub/signatures.

No-one from Ashby Properties was available afor comment.