Lancaster pub could be turned into student housing

Plans for a Lancaster pub to be turned into student flats have been submitted to the city council.

The Britannia pub in Ullswater Road.
The Britannia pub in Ullswater Road.

Owners 60 Church Street Ltd have applied for a change of use of The Britannia in Ullswater Road.

They hope to convert it into 10 one-bed self-contained student accommodation units.

However, around 75 local residents have objected to the plans, with many saying there is not the need for more student accommodation, the proposals would lead to increased traffic and parking problems on a busy stretch of road and corner, and that it would be preferable for the pub to remain as a going concern, or similar such as a cafe.

Recent owners have said it was difficult to run the pub in the current climate and continue to make it viable.

Martin and Hannah Horner, who also run The Borough, took over the business from Thwaites in November 2016, and ran it until lockdown forced them to close in April 2020.

They then sold the pub to 60 Church Street Ltd in January 2021, who bought the property with the intention of seeking planning approval for an alternative use.

In a letter to the council, Mr Horner said: "During this time we invested considerable time and money in to the business in an attemopt to grow both the food and wet sales.

"We tried to tap in to the student market as well as the locals market. Unfortunately we found the business challenging to make viable.

"This was due to the limited capacity of the venue, two other licensed premises within 100 metres and not helped by the limitations imposed under the license whereby we could not have music after 10pm or use the beer garden after 10pm."

Christie & Co said they were instructed to market the premises in July 2019 at a guide price of £345,000. This was rediced to £285,000 in January 2020.

However, despite sending out details to their 11,175 database clients, the pub had just five viewings and two formal offers made - neither of which were for continued licensed use.