Kettering’s Harlequin Pub to Transform into Convenience Store After Council Approval

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Northamptonshire Pub To Make Way for New Convenience Store

Northamptonshire’s iconic pub, The Harlequin, is poised for transformation into a convenient store following council approval. The pub, which had been operating at 136 Stamford Road, Kettering, met its end in November 2022 and was listed for sale in early 2023. The premises was previously owned by Marston’s, a top-tier independent brewing and pub retailing chain, and was part of a larger sale that involved 60 other venues.

Sale and Repurposing of The Harlequin

Despite several attempts to sell The Harlequin for its intended purpose, those endeavors were deemed unsuccessful. The main reason for this downturn was attributed to the venue’s lack of viability as a pub. Considering this outcome, plans were subsequently drawn up to transform the erstwhile pub into a convenience store.

Transformation Plans Unveiled

The refashioning blueprint for The Harlequin encompasses a complete overhaul of the existing floorplan. The new layout will divide the venue into two segments: a shop floor on one side and an amalgam of storage and office space on the other. Apart from the creation of three new disabled parking spaces, the external structure of the building is expected to remain unaltered.

Store’s Proposed Operation Timings and Public Response

The proposed convenient store will operate daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., covering Sundays and bank holidays as well. This proposed transition did not go without criticism. Five public objections were registered, with concerns ranging from the loss of a valued community pub to potential impacts on already established businesses in the vicinity.

Council Approval and Future Prospects

Despite mounting public pressure, Kettering Town Council gave a green light to the transformation proposal. Critics were vocal about their fear of this transition creating a precedent for future applications of change in use. Kettering Town Council’s decision to support the project was echoed by North Northamptonshire Council, which provided their approval for the plans on March 4. They highlighted the lack of interest in preserving The Harlequin as a pub, and noted that the community seems to accept a shop in this location.

Job Creation

  • The forthcoming store is anticipated to generate business in terms of two full-time and four part-time job opportunities.
Elijah Muhammad