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The Old Ebor pub facing uncertain future after flats bid
A YORK publican has vowed to fight any attempt to close his pub after its owner submitted plans to turn it into flats.
Paul Matson, who runs The Old Ebor in Drake Street, at the foot of Nunnery Lane, said he is concerned for its future and wants regulars to back him.
The building’s owner, Phil Armitage, told The Press on Saturday that he did not want to close the pub and wanted only to “future-proof” his investment by keeping his options open.
But in a planning application to City of York Council, he said the pub was no longer viable and said the noise was irritating residents in the flats upstairs. He said closure was “the only way forward”.
Mr Matson said he was upset and angry and hopes his regulars will fight to save the pub. He said: “We are going to fight it as hard as we can and try to show him to be in the wrong. How can he say the pub is not making money, when he does not know?”
He said he planned to print out letters for pub customers to send to City of York Council opposing Mr Armitage’s planning application, and said: “If he does not want to close the pub, why has he put in that application? The only way he will convince us is to remove it.”
In his planning application, Mr Armitage wrote: “After trying to keep a small pub open for two years, it is not viable any longer and is also causing a nuisance with noise to the residential flats above and neighbouring properties.
“It is having to stay open till late hours to make any money and also the music is causing problems late at night.”
He subsequently told The Press on Saturday that if Mr Matson could find a way to make the pub viable without opening late and playing loud music, he would be happy for it to remain open.
Earlier this year, The Cygnet in nearby Price Street was knocked down to make way for housing, but Mr Armitage said there were other pubs in the area that could fill the gap. The Edward VII, The Victoria Vaults, The Trafalgar Bay, The Swan and The Slip are all within walking distance, including three in Nunnery Lane itself.
Mr Armitage said: “The removal or closure of this pub to create two small self-contained affordable flats on the ground floor is the only way forward, and the other three pubs very nearby would easily take the trade.”
Elsewhere, The Rook & Gaskill in Lawrence Street has closed for refurbishment following the departure of landlord Neil Trafford, while The Golden Lion in Malton Market Place has closed again, having reopened last December following a seven-year closure.