A COLCHESTER pub which was previously told it could not build a covered seating area refuses to give up after submitting new plans to council bosses. 

The Friar, in St Christopher Road, has sent fresh proposals to Colchester Council in relation to the installation of an outdoor seating area. 

It comes after pub bosses applied to put up a pergola and a wooden covered structure with built-in seating in support of their new focus on the sale of both food and drink.

Outdoor heaters would also have been put in place to to help keep customers warm during colder weather.

Gazette: Planning bid - The Friar in St Christopher's Road, ColchesterPlanning bid - The Friar in St Christopher's Road, Colchester (Image: Google)

Colchester Council rejected the initial application in August 2022, however, stating the structures would be “dominant and discordant” additions to the street scene.

Planning chiefs feared they would increase noise and disturbance experienced by neighbours, as well as fuelling antisocial behaviour.

Tim Adams, on behalf of Greene King, launched an appeal against the council’s decision, but lost when a planning inspector determined it would be “harmful”, instead suggesting a marquee would be preferable.

“While I sympathise with the appellant, it has not been shown that the proposal is the only way to ensure the future viability of the site,” the inspector concluded.

The new plans have been amended to remove the pergola over the existing seating area, whilst the covered seating area has been attached to the existing main building along the western side.

Gazette: Busy - The Friar pub Busy - The Friar pub (Image: Google)

A new planning statement says: “The Friar in the process of undergoing a change in market positioning, seeing it move away from a drinking-focused establishment to being one that offers both food and drink.

“The move to serve food will coincide with a shift to make the site more family-friendly.”

The Friar has already obtained planning permission for a larger trade kitchen but noted the existing outside space “cannot support outdoor eating in the summer months”.

Therefore, the proposed covered seating area is required to ensure food can be served outside, especially in the spring and summer months.

A statement concluded: “The relocation and reduction of the previous proposal ensures the character and appearance of the area is preserved such that the openness of the site is retained.”

Colchester Council will rule on the plans.