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Drive-through restaurants could replace derelict pub on A505

Plans to demolish a derelict pub and build new drive-through restaurants in its place have been revived – five years after similar plans were approved.

A new application has been submitted to South Cambridgeshire District Council to build three drive-through takeaway restaurants on the site of the former Horse and Groom pub on the A505 Baldock Road.

The former Horse and Groom pub next to the A505 near Royston
The former Horse and Groom pub next to the A505 near Royston

The former pub has been empty for a number of years as various planning applications came forward to redevelop the site.

While an application for three takeaway restaurants was approved previously, the plans were never enacted upon, and the permission lapsed.

The new applicant, Westcoast Convenience Limited, has submitted the latest plans in the hope to bring the site back into use.

Of the three proposed drive through takeaways, one is proposed to be a coffee shop, with the other two listed as restaurants.

The application does not state which companies might run the takeaways if the application is approved.

Plans to redevelop the site have been coming forward since 2006 when an application was submitted to demolish the pub and build a hotel; these plans were refused.

A second application to build a hotel on the site was also refused the following year in 2007.

In 2009, plans were approved to demolish the pub and build a new restaurant in its place, this permission was also renewed in 2012, but did not end up taking place.

An application to build a 70 bedroom hotel on the site was also submitted in 2012, however this was refused with concerns raised over the size of the proposed building.

Two years later plans were submitted to build two homes on the site, one five-bedroom house and one four-bedroom house, but this application was refused.

In 2018, plans were submitted to demolish the pub and build three drive through takeaway restaurants. Permission for this was approved by the district council, but lapsed when no development took place within three years of the authority granting permission.

In 2019, another application was submitted to replace the pub with a petrol station, this was also approved but not progressed.

Then in 2021, the district council refused plans to build a self storage site. The applicant appealed to the planning inspectorate against the decision, but lost with the planning inspector describing the proposed building as potentially being an “overwhelmingly stark and dominating building”.

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