Former NatWest bank in Knaresborough to be turned into bar and restaurant after premises licence granted
The former Natwest bank in Knaresborough is to be turned into an independent bar and restaurant after a premises licence was granted for the venue.
It will reopen as Claro Social - a collaboration between Knaresborough brewery Turning Point Brew Co and Harrogate bar Major Tom’s Social.
A licence for the High Street venue - which closed as a bank in 2017 - was granted at a meeting of Harrogate Borough Council's sub-licensing committee today despite concerns from neighbouring residents and businesses.
Carol Rees, a director at marketing company Allott and Associates, which is based on the first floor of the building, said: "I'm particularly concerned about the safety issue of leaving our offices and people potentially being drunk and disorderly on a night.
"I have concerns about noise. And I'm also concerned about the opportunities for crime and disorder."
A total of 12 residents wrote in objection to the application which covers the sale of alcohol, food and entertainment.
Councillor Christine Willoughby, the mayor of Knaresborough, said she was contacted by some residents "in fear" of what is proposed.
"Everything I have heard today really convinces me that this fear is real," councillor Willoughby told today's meeting.
"This is the fear of disruption to residents' everyday lives through noise from the rear terrace. Ideally, I think the answer would be to not have the terraced area at all."
The council granted planning permission for a change of use of the building in August last year and Cameron McQueen, co-owner of Turning Point Brew Co, said the applicants have since been working on the plans with these concerns in mind.
He said food and drink deliveries will be limited, CCTV installed and that customers will only be allowed to enter the building from the front entrance on High Street.
Mr McQueen also said the bar and restaurant would have a "family friendly" atmosphere.
He said: "The site has been unoccupied for quite some time and we would really like the opportunity to give it a new lease of life.
"There will be no smoking on site whatsoever - and that includes our rear outside area.
"We have a brewery a couple of miles away so if necessary we will be more than happy to receive deliveries to our brewery site and then deliver once or twice a week to minimise the impact on residents and businesses.
"We are also more than happy to conduct a sound study on the building to see what an appropriate level of noise is."
The licence was granted with opening hours of noon until 11.30pm every day.
There were also conditions attached which mean the rear terrace area of the building must shut by 9pm.
Mr McQueen added: "We are really excited at the prospect of moving in and getting started on this project.
"Our interest is to open a business here, but at the end of the day we also want to get on well with our neighbouring businesses and residents."
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter