It’s over and Don for local hotel

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PROPOSALS to transform a Victorian-era pub into a block of flats have been given the go-ahead by planning chiefs.

The scheme involves converting the Don Hotel in Swinton into six apartments with six car parking spaces.

The venue is said to have ceased trading over a year ago and locally-based builders Yorkfield Estates were given permission to develop the site by Rotherham Council’s planning board last week.

It is proposed that the tavern part of the building – which is believed to be around 100 years old – will be retained and converted.

But a single storey office block behind the pub will be demolished to make way for part of the new build.

In their planning application, Yorkfield Estates said: “The lack of residential housing in the area contributes to the downfall of the community as there is no-one residing in the area to make use of the public house in this area.

“Hopefully by generating more housing in the area, the remaining pubs will have more chance of survival.”

A survey also revealed that only 19 per cent of local residents said they used the pub while it was open.

Planning officers also backed the scheme and said: “The permanent loss of use of this building as a pub is regrettable.

“However, taking into account that there are two other pubs within 150 metres of the site still operating, and there are a further seven pubs towards the centre of Swinton, the Don Hotel is not considered to represent an important local facility.

“The contemporary design of this housing scheme on this site is considered to be acceptable.”

They added: “It is not considered that an objection to the change of use could be maintained from a policy perspective and the principle of a residential conversion of this building is accepted.

“The retention of the existing facade of the Don Tavern is considered to contribute to the general character of the area.”