A Darwen  pub has been allowed to keep its children's football area and outdoor seating.

Daniel Sumner, from the Craven Heifer Inn in Pole Lane, has been granted backdated planning permission for the improvements to the outdoor space at the premises.

He had asked Blackburn with Darwen Council for retrospective approval of the 'timber fencing to segregate the area with integrated seating and freestanding tables on top of a small composite deck area under a timber framed shelter area, and creation of a new segregated area with metal mesh fencing for children's football area' .

A report by planning officer Martin Kenny recommending granting of permission says: "The application relates to the pub garden of the Craven Heifer public house, which is located to the rear (east) of the premises.

"Retrospective approval is sought for the retention of new timber fence, integrated seating and tables, metal mesh fencing to create secured play area for small children.

"One letter of support has been received from the ward councillor.

"The proposal is retrospective and in broad terms contains two elements; integrated seating, tables and timber pergola type structure; and erection of weld mesh fencing to enclose a play area for small children.

"The proposals affect an area identified as the long-standing ‘beer garden’ and a section of the car park.

"The new structures are partly-screened from views from Pole Lane by the existing building.

"The seating booths and pergola structure are common features within modern beer gardens and are considered to represent a substantial visual improvement on the long-standing informal arrangement of seating and the marquee erected during the Covid period.

"The beer garden is established to the rear of the public house and has previously been formed using picnic tables (some of which remain in-situ) and latterly by a large marquee tent during the Covid period.

"The proposal formalises some of the seating area through the introduction of integrated seating and tables with a pergola/canopy structure.

"In addition, a small section of the parking area has been given over to provide an area for children’s play enclosed by a weld mesh fence.

"The proposed weld mesh fenced play area is a blank space that allows children to play in a secure area, divorced from the open car park.

"Previously children have used the lawned area adjacent to play.

"It is proposed that an hours restriction (11 am to 9pm) could be imposed upon the enclosed play area."