A long-vacant former Carlisle pub has been given a new lease of life, as plans are approved for its redevelopment.
Approval has been given for the conversion of The former Railway Inn on London Road into new homes.
The former hotel and residential accommodation has been vacant for more than 15 years, and the plans to redevelop the building into seven flats, plus the construction of a mews on the back of the building to provide a further two homes was welcomed on Friday at Carlisle City Council’s development control committee meeting.
Discussing the application prior to its approval being granted, Stanwix and Houghton Conservative councillor Paul Nedved noted that the building has been derelict for some considerable length of time.
“We’ve seen so many buildings lost in the city for one reason or another.
“This historic building could be getting close to dereliction, so I welcome the initiative to bring this building back into use,” he said, adding that the former Railway Inn occupied a prominent position, sat alongside the major thoroughfare of London Road.
The former pub was built in 1837, and is a Grade II listed building.
With the existing and original features of the building set to be retained where possible, the city council’s planning department concluded that the design of the proposed development was appropriate for the listed building.
“The development will bring a prominent derelict Grade II listed building back into reuse which will have a positive impact upon the character/appearance of the Carlisle-Settle Conservation Area and the existing street scene,” the department said.
Sandsfield and Morton West Labour councillor Jeanette Whalen was in agreement.
“It’s very welcome to see the Railway Inn being developed,” Ms Whalen said, adding she would be particularly happy to see the building brought back into use as someone who lived round there for a very long time as a young person.
Plans have been proposed in the past for the redevelopment of the former Railway Inn, but did not result in works being carried out.
Planning permission was given in 2007 for the creation of four flats in the building, and again in 2011.
However these proposals did not materialise.
After having been sold at auction, the new owner of the former Railway Inn hopes to, according to the proposals, bring the building back to its original state by converting the entire building to attractive residential apartments, accompanied by the addition of a mews building to the rear.
Denton Holme and Morton South Labour councillor Ruth Alcroft said it would be brilliant for the building to be brought back into use, and would be potentially of huge benefit to that whole area.
Pam Birks, Labour councillor for Newtown and Morton North, added: “I think it’s fabulous that somebody’s willing to take this on and actually do the work, to bring this building back into being something which is pleasant to see as you drive down London Road.”
Conservative Wetheral and Corby councillor Nigel Christian agreed, though he requested that there also be a condition attached to the approval requiring that the work be carried out as part of the development to facilitate the addition of electric vehicle charging points.
“Electric charging is coming and we should make sure it’s facilitated in all developments where it can be,” he said.