A NEW micropub will be the latest addition to Bingley's drinking scene after planners approved the conversion of a former town centre estate agent.

The former Your Move unit on Main Street was the subject of an application by Darren Marks that was submitted this summer to change the use to a bar. Planning officers at Bradford Council have now approved the development.

They recognised that an increasing number of bars were opening in a the town's traditional shopping area, but argued that a new, small bar would not "prejudice its viability as a shopping area." However, they said it would be preferable if the business opened during the day to preserve the streets "vitality" throughout the day.

The unit is in the Bingley Town Centre Conservation Area, and the Council's Design and Conservation Officer Hannah Meekings, said: “In order to maintain the levels of activity during the day as well as into the evening and also to maintain the character of the conservation area, it is important that there are a good balance of commercial uses on offer on Main Street and the surrounding streets.

Manager Taylor Stott gives tour round new Bingley Brew House

“Whilst this balance appears to be maintained at the present time, it would be preferable if the proposed use incorporates day time opening hours to avoid the building being closed during the main part of the day and to ensure that the vibrancy of the conservation area is maintained.”

Approving the new business, planning officers said: “Main Street is one of the main shopping streets in Bingley and hosts a range of independent retailers.

“This unit is currently vacant and its use for a new business should be encouraged.

“This small scale drinking establishment will contribute to a range of offerings in the street and it is not considered that it will prejudice its viability as a shopping area.

"It will contribute in a small way to boosting the economy by bringing a disused unit into use and contributing to the variety of services in the area.”

There had been one objection to the application. Sara Dawe wrote to the Council to say: "Another pub in Bingley? Really???

"If there is one thing Bingley does not need its another drinking house. You should try driving through Bingley on a Friday or Saturday night, chaos."

Planning officers referred to this objection saying: "That is largely a matter for the market. The particular scale and model of bar premises proposed here could offer a different type of drinking outlet to the existing ones.

"The premises are vacant and thereby unsightly and weight has to be given to the opportunity to bring the premises back into use."