PLANS to convert a former pub into flats have been given the go-ahead.
Councillors expressed their disappointment at having to approve the decision, but said they had little option.
Seventeen objectors wrote to Flintshire Council to oppose the application to convert the now closed-down Red Lion pub on Liverpool Road, Buckley, into five apartments.
And at a meeting of Flintshire Council’s planning committee yesterday, councillors said they were sad to see the centuries-old building being turned into flats.
Ewloe councillor Alison Halford moved the application for approval, but then said: “I am apologetic to the residents and I have some sympathy with them.
“I’m very sorry I cannot support my residents but at least use will be made of it.”
According to the planning officer’s report discussed by the committee, the objectors felt better use could be made of the premises, a community facility would be lost, there were issues with parking and complaints were made that no public consultation had been held.
Holywell councillor Gareth Roberts said: “It’s always very sad when a pub like this has to close”
But added there were no reasons in planning terms to refuse the plan.
Several councillors bemoaned the growing problems pubs have been experiencing in staying open as a result of changing social habits.
Mold councillor Chris Bithell described it as a “use it or lose it” situation.
“Lifestyles have changed over the years and people are not going to their local pubs any more,” he said.
Buckley Town Council also raised concerns about the plan before the meeting, questioning if a business case could not be made to maintain it as a pub.
A number of members agreed and Buckley councillor Carol Ellis, who voted against the plan, said: “As one who has used that pub very often I can say when it was run correctly it was busy.”