Council votes to allow loss of historic features on Round Green Tavern 'as it's not a listed building'

The new look Round Green Tavern vs the original proposal
The new look Round Green Tavern vs the original proposal

The loss of architectural features on the former Round Green Tavern in Luton cannot be challenged as the building is not listed, a meeting was told last week.

Redevelopment proposals for the site were granted planning permission a year ago, and further amendments to convert the former pub in Hitchin Road into nine flats have been approved.

Applicant Sheriff Builders Ltd said that some minor adjustments were required and the project was considered again by the borough council’s development control committee on Wednesday, October 2.

Sheriff Builders Ltd intends to keep a two-bedroom flat, adding two one-bed and seven two-bedroom apartments, as well as a shop on the ground floor, with 12 parking places.

The alterations to the project concern windows and adjustments to roof heights, according to a report to the committee.

“The absence of the front facade of the public house has resulted in a loss of historic character,” said the report.

“But, although the building was included on Luton’s draft local list, it is not listed.

“Opposite the site there is a recent four-storey development of flats which is of a similar mass and scale to this project,” added the report.

Planning officer James Wells said: “This involves variations to a development considered last October, which was approved subject to conditions.

“You can see the changes to what was previously agreed are relatively modest.

“That proposal was acceptable in principle. There are revisions to the front elevation.

“The alterations are not such that the scheme is no longer acceptable.

“The building has some heritage interest. It was on a draft local list, but never included on the local list.

“If a building was built around 1750 or earlier it would automatically be listed,” he added.

“There was a detailed look at listed buildings many years ago and a lot which weren’t considered sufficient quality were discarded, but some made their way on to various local lists.

“This is a building which has some architectural qualities, but was only on a draft list. It was not added to the council’s list.”

Labour Round Green councillor Mark Rivers suggested: “The original plans involved the retention of the front facade.”

But Mr Wells replied the redevelopment project involved “a substantial change to the facade”.

Councillors unanimously approved the changes to the previous application.