Fresh bid to convert historic former pub in Sutton into flats -- Ashfield's latest plans

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A historic building in Sutton, which used to house a well-known pub, could soon be brought back to life at last.

The Shakespeare Inn, on High Pavement, dates back to the 1860s, according to local history buffs.

The pub closed several years ago and the building was abandoned. It fell into a bad state of disrepair and had to be boarded up.

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But now a scheme to turn the eyesore building into flats has taken a step forward.

The Shakespeare Inn, on High Pavement, Sutton, before the building fell into disrepair.The Shakespeare Inn, on High Pavement, Sutton, before the building fell into disrepair.
The Shakespeare Inn, on High Pavement, Sutton, before the building fell into disrepair.

Ashfield District Council has received a planning application to convert the former pub into seven one-bedroom apartments.

Planning papers state that this is an upgrade to a scheme to create five flats that was previously approved by the council. Work had started on that project, but was not yet completed, and now a further two apartments could be added.

Drawings reveal that three of the flats would be on the ground floor, three on the first floor and one in the loft. All would include a living room, bedroom and bathroom. Three would contain separate, designated kitchens, while the other four would have kitchen facilities incorporated into the living space.

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The applicant is named in the papers as Mr J.Williams, believed to be the owner of the property. Acting as agents on his behalf are the Wolverhampton-based architecture firm, Spector Design.

The Lost Pubs Project website says historical records suggest that the Shakespeare Inn, or Tavern, first became a ‘beer house’ in 1861, and became affectionately known as ‘The Shakey’.

It was rebuilt or significantly altered in the early 20th century, with the licence taken on in 1916 by Nora Bailey, wife of Fred Bailey, who was the son of the landlord of another Sutton pub nearby, the Market Hotel, later known as the Market Tavern.

After the Second World War, the Shakespeare was acquired by the Home Brewery company, based in Daybrook, Nottingham, and when landlord Franck Scott retired in 1978, he said he had been there for 52 years.

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After Home Brewery was acquired by Scottish and Newcastle Breweries in 1996 in a £120 million deal, the pub continued to trade until at least 2005. But by 2009, it was up for sale and the building slowly became derelict until it was bought by new owners in 2018.

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It is understood that the plan for flats would lead to minimal changes to the appearance of the building, with its Tudor-style frontage remaining.

The council’s planning officers are now considering the proposal and are aiming to come to a decision, or recommendation, by Tuesday, July 2.

Other planning applications received by Ashfield District Council this week include these:

Counting House, Fackley Road, Sutton – vehicle access.

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209 Alfreton Road, Sutton – change of use from residential to storage and sale of mobile homes, as well as residential.

15 Sharrard Close, Underwood— single-storey front and rear extension.

The Croft, Church Street, Sutton – works to trees and hedges in a conservation area.

Mary Street, Kirkby – external thermal wall insulation to properties at numbers 16, 20, 23, 37, 39 and 76.

Your comments on any of these planning applications can be posted here.

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