Bank pub in Batley could become new flats

CALLING TIME Chris Inham outside the Bank. (D546B243)
CALLING TIME Chris Inham outside the Bank. (D546B243)

A Batley pub in a historical setting could be turned into flats after a planning application has been made.

Applicant A Jawad is seeking permission to convert 1Hick Lane – a listed building where the Bank pub has operated for many years since being renovated by Steve Battye– into six new flats and a manager’s flat.

Landlord Chris Ingham said: “I’ve been there for three years, The situation came that I couldn’t make it pay, so I had to give up my lease.

“People think ‘Why are you closing down?’ It’s very difficult in Batley now. We’re in a position where you just can’t make it viable.”

But Mr Ingham has no reservations about the plans which have been placed for the building.

“I’m quite happy that it [could be] being used as something rather than being an empty building.

“I think it’s good people are investing in Batley.”

Mr Ingham hopes to run the pub into the new year and then plans to take a month off. He wants to jet off the Benidorm where he will try out his hypnosis act – which he has also brought to the pub.

Batley Business Association chairman Andrew Marsden said: “It’s disappointing to see an entertainment venue close and part of Batley’s night time economy go.

“At the same time if flats are the most viable use I would rather see them than an empty building.

“[It would be] bringing more people into Batley. Certainly as a commuter location it’s ideal.”

Because the buidling is grade two-listed, any changes to the outside of the building would need to in-keeping or “sympathetic” to its historical character.

Supporting information included in the planning application, supplied by Liversedge-based agents JA Oldroyd and Sons Limited reads: “As the site is surrounded by various residential and commercial properties it would seem that the use for the site as residential would be acceptable.”

It states that the external areas around the property will remain largely untouched.

“Any new works to the external appearance of the building will be done with materials to match the host property.” To view the application, visit www.kirklees.gov.uk. Public consultation runs until November 3.