Third time lucky for pub shops plan

It appeared that Cheers would reopen as a restaurant last year, but this never happened
It appeared that Cheers would reopen as a restaurant last year, but this never happened

Planning permission has been granted to turn a derelict Bellshill pub into shops at the third time of asking.

In both 2009 and 2010 Mr M Nasir applied for a change of use for Cheers in Motherwell Road, but both times it was turned down by North Lanarkshire Council.

On the second occasion an appeal was made to the Scottish Government, but this was unsuccessful.

In 2015 SP Limited then sought permission to turn the former bookmakers next door into a hot food takeaway, but this too was refused.

In January Mr Nasir returned to the council with a revised plan which included demolishing the former bookmakers to make room for a car park along with Cheers becoming two retail units.

Seven objections and a 142-signature petition were submitted to the council, mostly over fears about road safety.

However, the transportation department stated it had “no objection as there are sufficient parking and manoeuvring areas within the site”.

A report to last week’s Planning and Transportation Committee said: “This development would bring a long-term vacant property back into use, and it is considered that the development would integrate satisfactorily with the existing character of the area.

“As such, it is considered that the proposed development would not impact unacceptably on the established residential amenity of the area.”

The application was passed unanimously.

An eight-year-old girl was knocked down outside the pub last month and Sanjeevan Bilar, who owns Shopsmart on Motherwell Road, is seeking legal advice to find out if an appeal can be made.

He said: “It seems ridiculous that turning Cheers into shops can be refused twice by the council, refused on appeal by the Scottish Government, and then get passed at the third attempt.

“This is a very busy road and there is a bus stop right outside the pub so I’m not sure how the council can have no road safety concerns.

“I’ll be talking to my lawyer to find out what avenues might be available.”