Middle Street North, Driffield

  • 1

An opportunity for investment or redevelopment (Subject to planning consent)

A closed public house situated at the edge of the town centre within the Conservation Area and close to the Grade 1 Listed Parish Church. The age, condition and layout of the accommodation lends itself to redevelopment rather than refurbishment.

The former drinking/seating area and derelict kitchens are situated at ground floor with former letting rooms/residential accommodation on first and second floors. The property has over the been the subject of ad hoc extensions and alterations.

The property has frontage to Middle Street North and return frontage to Church Lane, from which the rear car park is accessed.

Any proposal to redevelop the site may include a total of seven dwellings comprising three two and half storey dwellings fronting Middle Street North, a pair of two-bedroom 2 storey dwellings fronting Church Lane and a similar pair within the site. Any proposed redevelopment would require planning permission and to comply with Conservation Area policies and not harm the setting of the Parish Church.

Driffield remains a market town, notwithstanding the closure of the livestock market in 2001. The central shopping area includes a weekly stalled market, with shops providing a wide range of goods and services for everyday needs supplemented by retailers such as B&M, Wilko, Iceland, Boyes, M&Co, Yorkshire Trading, Tesco and Lidl. Many local shops provide a personal service, in addition to a wide range of goods. Other amenities include a modern Sports Centre with swimming pool, cricket, tennis, bowls, football and rugby teams, dancing, gyms etc. together with many clubs and associations. Road and rail links to the neighbouring coastal market towns, including Beverley, Hull and beyond.

MAIN RECEPTION 20′ 3" x 15′ 1" (6.18m x 4.62m)

FORMER MAIN BAR 18′ 9" x 36′ 10" (5.73m x 11.23m)

FORMER REAR BAR 18′ 2" x 35′ 3" (5.54maxm x 10.76maxm)

SECONDARY RECEPTION 20′ 3" x 11′ 8" (6.18m x 3.58m)

KITCHEN 16′ 5" x 10′ 1" (5.02m x 3.09m)





FRONT ROOMS (listed left to right)

ROOM 11′ 8" x 6′ 6" (3.58m x 2m)

ROOM 13′ 7" x 19′ 11" (4.16m x 6.08m)

ROOM 14′ 11" x 9′ 10" (4.57m x 3m)



REAR ROOMS (listed left to right)

ROOM 9′ 11" x 11′ 3" (3.04m x 3.45m)


ROOM 13′ 9" x 15′ 5" (4.2m x 4.72m)

ROOM 13′ 9" x 11′ 7" (4.2m x 3.54m)




ROOM 14′ 3" x 11′ 6" (4.35m x 3.53m)


ROOM 13′ 1" x 19′ 10" (4.01m x 6.05m)

ROOM 10′ 2" x 17′ 6" (3.12m x 5.35m)


WC 10′ 0" x 11′ 5" (3.07m x 3.48m)

WC 10′ 3" x 6′ 7" (3.13m x 2.02m)

ROOM 14′ 2" x 10′ 2" (4.33m x 3.1m)

BATHROOM 10′ 9" x 9′ 10" (3.29m x 3.01m)

KITCHEN 15′ 4" x 11′ 10" (4.68m x 3.62m)

ROOM 9′ 5" x 13′ 8" (2.89m x 4.18m)

OUTSIDE There is a large car park to the rear, accessible off Church Lane.

VAT The purchase price will be subject to VAT at the prevailing rate.

TENURE We understand that the property is freehold and is offered with vacant possession upon completion.

NOTE Heating systems and other services have not been checked.

All measurements are provided for guidance only.

None of the statements contained in these particulars as to this property are to be relied upon as statements or representations of fact. In the event of a property being extended or altered from its original form, buyers must satisfy themselves that any planning regulation was adhered to as this information is seldom available to the agent.

Floor plans are for illustrative purposes only.

VIEWING Strictly by appointment (01377) 253456

Prospective buyers view at their own risk.

Regulated by RICS

Any proposal to redevelop the site may include a total of seven dwellings comprising three three-bedroom dwellings and four two-bedroom dwellings.

Redevelopment will require planning consent. The demolition of the existing building could be replaced by three dwellings, each two and one half storeys, with one central door fronting Middle Street North serving the middle dwelling and side doors to the two outer dwellings.

The Church Lane frontage might be developed with a pair of semi-detached two-bedroom, two storey cottages, one with side door.

A similar pair to be built within the site.
The external appearance of the Red Lion has materially changed over the years, including the incorporation of a building to the south, additions and alterations and now the appearance arguably causes a negative impact upon the general appearance of the conservation area and the setting of the Church.
The "use class" of public houses pursuant to the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 is ‘Sui Generis’ i.e. a category of its own.

The property is unused following a series of business failures due to a range of factors including changing customer demands and requirements, i.e. there is no demand. In part, these are underpinned by the following commentary.
In the current technological age, the frequency at which people attend pubs has slowly and subtly declined. With the ever-increasing capabilities of smart phones, online-shopping and increasing temperatures due to climate change, there is now far less need, or even desire to leave the house for entertainment. The way we socialise is changing and for the younger generation, the prospect of sitting in a dark, worn-out pub alongside aged punters, is not high upon their list. There will always be the "old-faithful’s" who return to their local each week to sup on a pint or two but theirs is a dying breed so to speak, and as society continues to progress, the once revered local pub is set to die out with those faithful few that prop up its bar. Despite its more than colourful past which has been an instrumental influence on our country’s history, the local pub is at risk of dying a tragic death.

The number of pubs has been decreasing steadily for several decades. From 2000 to 2019, pub numbers have declined by 13,600, or 22%. More recently, 2010 to 2020 saw pub numbers fall by 15%. (Source House of Commons library).
A report by consultants CGA and business advisory firm Alix Partners showed there was a net reduction of 5,975 pubs, clubs and restaurants sites across Britain in 2020 when new openings were taken into account.

Why are pubs closing? (Source Historic England).
The closure of pubs has its roots in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when the British government – influenced by the temperance movement and a growing awareness of the ‘evils’ of alcohol – actively sought to reduce the number of public houses.
Throughout the 20th century, other factors have contributed, such as:
– Social change, and a broader range of forms of social entertainment.
– The smoking ban, introduced to England in 2007.
– Excessive rates of beer tax, which has increased by 42% since 2008.
– Discounted alcohol sales by supermarkets and other shops.
– The high and rising value of pub sites for redevelopment, especially in urban and suburban areas.

The former NatWest bank premises (28 Mill Street) has been granted planning permission for use as a "pub", adding that what many already considered to be an over provision of licensed premises in the town. The location of these premises is far and away more prominent and convenient for likely customers and competition from chains such as Wetherspoon’s mean that the use of the Red Lion as a public house has absolutely no future prospect. Hence, consideration to alternative uses.

The structural state, repair, layout, room sizes and issues of natural lighting can only lead to the conclusion that residential conversion of the entire building will be uneconomic. It may be possible to retain and residentially convert the original part of the building fronting Middle Street North by demolishing the three-storey and single storey extensions to the rear. This may be an alternative to demolition and site clearance prior to redevelop. However, the appearance of the Conservation Area and the setting of the Parish Church are likely to be enhanced by replacing what is there at the moment with a very sensitively designed residential redevelopment scheme.
The Red Lion is within the Driffield North Conservation Area, situated to the south of a the parish church, which is a Grade I Listed Building and in the close vicinity to a number of Grade II Listed Buildings. The property is positioned on the corner of Middle Street North and Church Lane and is therefore within a prominent location within the street scene.

The most relevant planning policies to any development or redevelopment proposals may include the following:
East Riding Local Plan Strategy Document (ERLP SD) (April 2016).
Policy S1 Presumption in favour of sustainable development.
Policy S3 Focusing development.
Policy ENV1 Integrating high quality design.
Policy ENV3 Valuing our heritage.
Policy C2: Supporting community services and facilities.
Policy A3 Driffield & Wolds sub area.
Section 72 & 66 of The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas)1990.
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

In determining any application to develop or redevelop the statutory duty of section 66(1) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 is to pay special regard to the desirability of preserving listed buildings or their setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which they possess and section 72(1) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of conservation areas.

The property is registered in the name of Authentic Alehouses Ltd (in administration) under Land Registry title number HS156948 as 56-57 Middle Street North. Driffield YO25 6SS. The joint administrators will not consider any offer which is conditional save as to contract.

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