A proposal to turn a town centre property into a boutique bar and “haven of stylish indulgence” has been given the go-ahead.

The empty building on Stockton High Street was last used as a card shop. Applicant Kevin Allison asked Stockton Council for planning permission to change the three-storey property’s use for a boutique bar.

In a statement to the council, the applicant said of the former Bonkers Cards property: “After a period of vacancy, the building stands as a blank canvas awaiting a fresh stroke of vitality. The vision for this dormant space? A boutique bar, destined to become a vibrant hub within the community.

“With plans underway to transform the interior into a haven of stylish indulgence, the building’s rebirth promises an exciting chapter in its story. From the sleek design elements to the carefully curated menu offerings, every detail is meticulously crafted to enchant and delight patrons.

“The transformation from vacant structure to bustling hotspot embodies a revival of spirit, breathing new life into the High Street.”

The applicant said the disused retail property was “severely dilapidated”, stripped to brick inside with significant investment needed to bring it back to a usable condition.

Considering the proposal, council officers said in their report: “The proposed change of use would bring economic benefit to the area for a property which has been closed for a number of years.

“The proposal proposes to be operating during the day as well as at night. The unit is located in the heart of Stockton Town Centre within a parade of retail uses and is not a key retail unit.

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The Northern Echo:

“There are no pubs or bars adjoining the unit and therefore it would not lead to an over-concentration of evening economy uses in this area… It is not considered that a boutique bar in this location would adversely impact the character of this part of Stockton High Street conservation area as it would not be an unfamiliar use for this area.”

Environmental health officers had no objection but requested conditions on noise, vibrations, opening hours and waste disposal. Neighbours made no comments on the plan to the council.

The plan was approved with conditions including opening hours between 9am and 11.30pm.