New sports bar and restaurant plans get go ahead in South Shields at former Riddicks building

Plans to convert the iconic Riddicks building in South Shields into a sports bar and restaurant have been given the go-ahead by council development chiefs. The South Tyneside Council’s planning department has approved an application for the towering site, which sits on the corner of Fowler Street and Keppel Street.

Over the years, the building has served various purposes, including a grocer, chain store, snooker hall, and the well-known Riddicks shoe shop.

The shoe shop closed its doors in 2014, and the upstairs Racks snooker hall also shut down, with permission later granted in 2019 for the building to be used as office space. In recent times, the town centre building, owned by South Tyneside Council, has undergone refurbishment as part of regeneration efforts in South Shields.

In October 2023, during a meeting of the council’s cabinet of senior councillors, it was agreed to proceed with the disposal of the building’s freehold, subject to planning permission being granted for a new use. Premier Leisure Ltd proposed plans to transform the building into a mixed public bar and restaurant across the basement, ground and first floors, with a new lift shaft at the rear.

The plans also included flats on the second floor and a new pavement cafe outdoor seating area.

Supporting documents accompanying the submitted plans clarified that the proposed venue, a sports bar and grill, would bear the name ‘Riddicks Sports Bar and Grill’. It will include a ground floor main bar area with kitchen and seating while a large gaming area offering ‘feature booth’ seating, pool tables, ‘virtual darts’, and pinball machines will grace the first floor.

The plan didn’t forget residential use, proposing five flats on the second floor, each complete with an en-suite bathroom as well as a kitchen-sitting/dining space. According to the planning application, the development promises to generate 14 full-time equivalent jobs.

Interestingly, no comments were received during council consultation on the plans. Upon assessment against existing planning policies and careful consideration of received application, the approval came from South Tyneside Council’s Planning Department on April 16, 2024.

As per a decision report by the council planning officers, the plans are justified as they aim to “bring a vacant unit into use, improving the vitality of the town centre, as well as delivering an appropriate town centre use for the building and contributing to the council’s housing land supply”. The same report confirmed seven car parking spaces would be provided by the development which is situated in a “highly sustainable location”, easily accessible via bus and Metro services.

A condition was imposed limiting opening hours of the establishment in order to “safeguard the amenity of local residents”.

The proposed opening hours for the bar/restaurant are “7.30am to 11.30pm, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 11.30pm on Saturdays, and 9am to 10.30pm on Sundays and bank holidays”.

The council’s decision report stated: “In conclusion, it is considered that the proposed development would be acceptable in principle and would have an acceptable impact in terms of residential and visual amenity, highway safety and biodiversity.”

“The proposed development would therefore comply with all relevant local and national planning policy and the application is therefore recommended for approval”.

The development must commence within three years as per the planning conditions.

For further details on the planning application or council decision, visit South Tyneside Council’s planning portal website and search reference: ST/0638/23/FUL.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/new-sports-bar-restaurant-plans-29050135

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