World War II-themed micro bar opening in the city centre

Plans for a ‘military-style real ale micro bar’ in Sunderland city centre have been approved by the council

The proposed bar is set to be located next to Gunners on Mary street on the site of a former hairdressers Fagans.

Supporting documents submitted to council officials described the development as a “military-style real ale micro bar” with a “nod to a military-style WWII bunker”.

During the planning application process, plans were amended following comments and recommendations from council conservation officers.

Amended plans included “timber double glazed sliding sash windows to the front elevation” to offer a “more sensitive approach” to the area and to meet local conservation guidance.

After considering the planning application and assessing it against planning policies, Sunderland City Council’s planning department approved it on December 6, 2023.

Council planners, in a decision report, said the development would ensure the future occupancy of the building while also benefiting the city centre.

The council decision report adds: “In broad terms, utilising this space by creating a micro bar and first floor accommodation has more positive implications for the character of the conservation area and city centre as a whole.

“It displays a depth and variety that is key to maintaining a diverse culture within the city centre in these pressing economic times.

“Through continued occupancy, it ensures that the experience of being in the conservation area is enhanced and contributes to the vibrancy of the city centre.

“On balance of the above, it is considered that the change of use will not have a significant impact on the amenity enjoyed by surrounding properties and subject to conditions, aspects relating to its integration with the surrounding environment can be controlled.

“No objections have been received for the proposed development”.