Leicester railway station pub demolition decision put back

Parcel Yard
The art deco Parcel Yard will not be demolished for now

A decision to knock down an historic pub for the revamp of Leicester's railway station is on hold.

The Parcel Yard pub stands next to the city's Victorian station, in London Road, but is earmarked for demolition as part of a £22m plan to transform the surrounding area.

Leicester City Council and Network Rail are behind the scheme.

The final decision was deferred due to a request for firm plans on what will replace the pub.

Members of the planning committee met on Wednesday.

The Parcel Yard pub was named after the station's former sorting office and parcel yard. It still features fragments of original Victorian architecture.

Parcel yard building
The Parcel Yard closed earlier this year

The council secured £17.6m of government levelling up cash in 2021 towards a complete remodel of the station.

The early plans show the council seeking permission to demolish The Parcel Yard building, but a second planning application has yet to be submitted for the wider scheme.

Leicester Railway Station plan
An artist's impression shows the proposal for a new station entrance

Patrick Kitterick, Green Party ward councillor for the Castle ward - who is not a member of the planning committee but was at the meeting - said he feared the pub could be lost.

He said: "What we were being asked to do was demolish a couple of fine buildings with no plan to what was going to replace it.

"Instead of taking a leap into the dark, the committee have said we need to see firm plans on what is going to happen in future.

"There is far too much secrecy and lack of transparency about this station project and it really does need to be cleared up.

"The worst case scenario is the whole scheme collapses and we've demolished these buildings and we just have this scar right outside our train station.

"The committee decided not to take that risk and that was a very sensible decision."

Parcel yard building
The Thomas Cook statue in front of the pub would be removed and kept in storage throughout the works

Planning officers told the meeting they were "targeting March" as a date for submission of final development proposals for the site.

The project would see the station's existing covered entrance hall area turned into a new plaza for shopping, food and drinks.

Existing taxi ranks would be moved to nearby Station Street, where the facade of the station would be restored, turning it into the new main entrance where the pub stands now.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said officers had recommended the council's planning committee approve the flattening of the 1930s art deco pub.

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