'Landmark' Greater Manchester pub to be turned into Greggs drive-thru despite objections over heritage and health

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Greene King want to knock down the vacant Farmers Arms on Stockport Road in Cheadle Heath.

A historic Greater Manchester pub is set to be demolished to make way for a drive-thru Greggs despite receiving 64 objections from residents.

The planning application from Greene King to knock down the vacant Farmers Arms on Stockport Road in Cheadle Heath, Stockport, was approved at Stockport’s planning group despite opposition from some councillors sitting on the committee.

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The site is at the junction between Stockport Road and Edgeley Road which is often congested during rush hour, and Cheadle Heath Primary School is just across the road. The proposed entrance to the new Greggs drive-thru and car park is via Edgeley Road.

The vacant Farmers Arms which is set to become a Greggs drive-thru The vacant Farmers Arms which is set to become a Greggs drive-thru
The vacant Farmers Arms which is set to become a Greggs drive-thru | Google

The report noted that residents had sent 64 letters objecting to the change, with concerns ranging from fears about the impact of extra traffic, a lack of healthy food options in the area, and losing historic sites in Stockport.

A traffic survey carried out at a comparable site in Mansfield found that the ‘worst case scenario’ would mean five cars queuing for the drive-thru at peak times with ‘no impact to the free flow of traffic on Edgeley Road’, despite there being space for 24 cars to park at the site in total.

The planning officer also clarified that because Greggs has a range of hot and cold food options, and warm items are not cooked on site, the restaurant cannot be classified as fast food.

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However, Stockport’s director of public health warned in the report that the site will serve “predominantly high calorie food of low nutritional value”.

Coun Wendy Meikle from Stockport Lib Dems, who opposed the application, said: “I am on the side of the 64 objectors. They talked about congestion, the effect on health, that the building is a landmark, and in my opinion Greggs is a fast food take out and not a restaurant.

The Greggs site would have 24 parking spacesThe Greggs site would have 24 parking spaces
The Greggs site would have 24 parking spaces

“The drive through is not encouraging people to walk and if the development is permitted it would have a detrimental effect on health locally. I know you have had the traffic survey to put our minds at rest, but I can not support this application.”

One resident wrote to the committee: “If there is now a drive through the traffic will only get worse. People eating while leaving the drive through won’t pay proper attention to the children, terrible accidents are basically prone to happen.”

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Another added: “The current building and site’s historical use as a public house dates back to the late 19th century. The Farmers Arms pub is recorded in a historical photo (ref. Cheadle Civic Society) showing its position at the toll gate, at the key junction of Stockport Road and Edgeley Road.

“It is disappointing that no other viable uses have been identified or explored in detail that seek to retain and re-develop the existing building and significant site.”

Coun Steve Gribbon, chair of the planning committee, said: “I know the area well enough and I don’t like the idea of this, but we have to look at the material considerations of the application.”

Greggs was contacted for comment.

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