An historic Kendal inn and town landmark is set for a much-anticipated revival after South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) approved plans for its refurbishment, extension and reopening as a hostelry.
Standing proud, but currently derelict, on Stramongate Bridge by Kendal town centre lies The Bridge Hotel, dating back to around 1738, for which a planning application was submitted by Levens-based funfair operator Taylor’s in 2018.
Since then, numerous objections and hurdles had to be overcome, mainly due to the pub’s location within the current Flood Defence Scheme in Kendal, but the go-ahead has now been given after a series of amendments were made to the original plan.
The plans allow for a larger premises with nine letting bedrooms, an extended public bar area with outside patio area, an accessible beer garden and updated reception area.
Permission has now been given to build two extensions onto the building.
The largest will be a 3-storey extension on the south-western (road) side, which will, according to the SLDC planning document, “effectively ‘square off’ the footprint of the building and will tidy up this elevation of the building by providing a formal entry to the building from car park level.
“The extension will match the existing element alongside the river and will not appear out of character.”
The second extension will be a one-storey extension, attached to the ground-floor bar area, and lead out into the pub’s beer-garden.
It will be attached to the north-east (riverside) of the building, and was originally refused because of its intention to build within the zone of the Kendal Flood Scheme.
The objection was alleviated when the plan was amended for the extension to be built on stilts, as the planning document said:
“This would enable flood-water to flow underneath the extension and allow access for the Environment Agency for maintenance of the flood wall (wall of The Bridge Hotel).
“The extension will be visible to users of the adjacent Stramongate Bridge and to users of the footpath on the far side of the river Kent, will feature five sets of double glazed doors and will have a lantern skylight.”
The go-ahead will be welcome news to the new owners, though they cannot begin work on the pub until the Flood Scheme work on the area is complete, later this year.
SLDC concluded that granting permission would bring an overall benefit to the town:
“The Bridge Inn is currently unoccupied and is in a deteriorating physical condition. The proposal will reverse this decline and so rejuvenate the building.
“The extensions will enable the building to be put to economic usage as a riverside inn which will be of benefit to the town and will provide a distinctive riverside setting for visitors and residents to enjoy.
“The public benefit of a sustainable and fully maintained property will outweigh the less than substantial harm of the proposed alterations.”