PLANS to replace a beer garden with a new decking area at a busy Blackburn pub have been opposed by a neighbour and the local parish council.

The owners of Bee Hive Inn, in Preston Old Road, Livesey, want to add the drinking area to the mid-terrace pub to reduce customers gathering at the front.

Enterprise Inns plc have asked Blackburn with Darwen borough planning committee for permission to put up a raised ground-floor level rear decking area, with doors from the pool room and bar lounge.

It says the existing beer garden access from an external staircase from the pool room will shut.

The committee, which will consider the application on Thursday, has received objections from Livesey Parish Council, nearby resident Nancy Noblett and Livesey with Pleasington councillor Alan Cottam. Officers point out to the councillors on the committee the whole row, except Mrs Noblett’s home at 432, is business properties, some with first floor flats.

They recommend approval with tight conditions including six foot-high screens on two sides of the decking, a scheme for noise control, and an immediate closure of the beer garden once the decking starts.

Livesey Parish Council sent in a letter of objection highlighting residents’ concerns that they will be ‘blighted with extra noise’ and a similar application had been previously refused by the committee.

Mrs Noblett said when she bought her house, the Bee Hive was ‘a quiet, local pub that closed at reasonable hours’ and that the noise from the decking, if approved, would be ‘truly unbearable’.

She expresses concern about loud music, loss of privacy and possible ‘use of foul, obscene and intimidating language’ by customers on the decking.

Coun Cottam tells the committee: “We have had a similar application some years ago and I think it was rejected because some of the properties in that terrace are used for residential purposes and that noise from such an outside area would be intrusive to rear bedrooms.”

Bee Hive landlord Barry Brook said: “We would be happy with the conditions. We are keen to ensure that we do not cause noise and disturbance to residents and this application is an attempt to do just that.”