Award-winning Cannock pub to be replaced with Starbucks branch

An award-winning Cannock Chase pub is set to be transformed into a branch of global coffee chain Starbucks.

The Bridge Inn at Cannock Road, Chadsmoor. Photo: Google
The Bridge Inn at Cannock Road, Chadsmoor. Photo: Google

Concerns have been raised about the loss of The Bridge Inn in Chadsmoor, which won Cannock Chase Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) pub of the year award in April, as well as the impact of traffic on the already busy Cannock Road.

But the plans were passed by Cannock Chase Council’s planning committee on Thursday. The prospect of keeping a community meeting place open has also been welcomed.

An existing single storey rear extension will be demolished as part of the transformation, with a “contemporary extension” built to the front and side of the building. There will also be a drive thru lane and car and cycle parking provided.

Neighbour Jenny Gough highlighted the site’s closeness to the five-arm High Town roundabout.

Speaking at Thursday’s meeting she told the committee: “One of the roads is the main Cannock road and I can’t see it not causing any congestion. Traffic will be queuing for the drive thru.

“The second issue is the potential noise that would result from the traffic if there are engines ticking over, revving, starting and stopping. This is supposedly going to be open (7am) to 11pm every day of the year.”

Four objections to the plans were received by Cannock Chase Council. There were fears the development would encourage antisocial behaviour and litter and comments that there were already plenty of coffee shops in the town centre and the pub should not be replaced.

Two supporters also contacted the council. They said the shop would be a brilliant addition to the area and would provide somewhere to work and socialise.

The Bridge was named CAMRA pub of the year in April this year

Gary Swarbrick, who spoke in support of the application at Thursday’s meeting, said: “This proposal will result in the loss of an existing pub but there will still be a number of pubs available in the town centre and surrounding area to meet the needs of local people. It will replace one form of facility that allows social interaction with another and the coffee shop area will provide a meeting place for community groups, friends and families.

“We know there has been a small number of objections about potential for the site to generate noise and antisocial behaviour. The applicant has carried out a noise assessment demonstrating the noise wouldn’t lead to unacceptable impact on neighbouring properties and the site is already used as a pub.”

Committee members voted to approve the application.

Councillor Alan Pearson said: “I never like to see a pub closed but unfortunately things have changed since lockdown. It has totally changed how we think about society and people are drinking at home now.

“I cannot see any reason why we could say no to it.”

Councillor Adrienne Fitzgerald said: “There are a lot of new houses being built in the area and we need a place for people to go and have a coffee and a chat. I would personally have never brought my children into a pub but a coffee shop is more available.

“It is good for our mental health and wellbeing to meet in places. I think it is an excellent idea.”

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