South Tyneside Council’s planning department recently approved plans for the vacant Persey Social Club, off Whitehead Street, in the Tyne Dock area.
The revamp will see existing club and bar facilities removed to make way for storage units and a ‘barrel sales outlet’.
According to planning documents, empty barrels sold from the site would typically be used for decorative purposes such as planting flowers or shrubs or as tables in pubs/ beer gardens.
Developers say sales are largely conducted online with most products delivered directly to customers.
Public visits to the premises would also be made on an ‘appointment-only’ basis.
In addition, the first floor of the building will be converted into offices, a small cafe with a breakout/hot desk area and a one-bedroom manager’s flat.
Following consultation, South Tyneside Council’s planning authority approved the application on Friday, August 28.
In a decision report planners welcomed the economic benefits of the scheme, which is expected to create 30 full-time jobs.
They added the use of the building “would be likely to result in car parking demand that is less than the previous use as a social club.”
In response to parking concerns, the applicant’s agent said the development would require “minimal parking provision” and it would be unlikely that more than two vehicles would be on site at a time.
When storage areas are filled, users would only return “intermittently” to recover items or deposit new ones.
The council decision report goes on to say: “The proposed development is considered to be acceptable with regard to its impact on residential amenity, visual amenity, parking and highway safety.
“In addition, the proposed development would not have a harmful impact on the vitality and viability of the borough’s town and district centres.
“Furthermore, the proposed development would bring a vacant property back into use and would provide employment.”
Under planning conditions, works must be brought forward within the next three years.