Plans for traditional pub and French brasserie submitted


A planning application has been submitted to enable the White Brasserie Co to open a pub called The Oakwood on Brook Lane.

The company, which is part of the Brasserie Bar Co whose Director Raymond Blanc is responsible for the creative direction of the menus, has applied for a change of use for the building previously occupied by Loch Fyne Restaurant from Class A3 (restaurant and cafe) to Class A4 (drinking establishment).

The application also covers the installation of plant, extraction and ventilation equipment; the installation of timber cladding to enclose the cold store to the rear of the building and a patio to accommodate outdoor seating for approximately 60 covers.

Internally there will be 112 covers, 50 in the bar/lounge area and 62 in the main restaurant.

The White Brasserie Co hope to open The Oakwood in the summer, which they describe as "a unique combination of traditional pub and a French brasserie, with an English twist".

The opening hours for the brasserie element will be 12pm to 10pm Monday to Thursday, 12pm to 10.30pm Friday to Saturday and 12pm to 9pm on Sunday. Whilst the pub element would be open from 11am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and 12pm to 10pm on Sundays. These opening hours are the same as the previous occupier Loch Fyne.

Plans for the building, which has been vacant since December 2014, include redecorating the outside and the window frames and replacing the balustrade to the rear of the building, however these alterations can be made without the need for planning permission.

The planning application can be viewed on Cheshire East Council's website by searching for planning reference 16/1585M. The last date for submitting comments is May 4th and a decision is expected by 31st May.

The Oakwood, White Brasserie


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Pete Taylor
Friday 15th April 2016 at 9:33 pm
I've always been slightly puzzled why the various iterations of the Brookfield pub have failed over the years. Most of them have started well, then fizzled out.
Loch Fyne was really good, initially.
I wonder if the new venture is merely aimed at the Range Rover market, which has been notably fickle in the past.
It will be interesting to see what they consider a "traditional pub" to be.
Vince Chadwick
Saturday 16th April 2016 at 2:31 pm
The Brookfield was a successful local pub for many decades. I knew someone who drank there when on leave in WW2, and no doubt it was in business for many years before that. It was only when it ceased to be a local pub (early 1980s?) that the string of failures began.

The rot set in when a new owner decided to target a young clientele, which worked for a while despite frequent police raids, until that fickle market went elsewhere (or maybe the raids finally did for it?). There followed several attempts to return it to being a local but none lasted very long, before its latest incarnation as Loch Fyne.

Looking at the websites for other pubs in White Brasserie Co ownership I think I know what to expect of 'The Oakwood'.

When I visited a local brewer of fine ales recently I asked where I could buy his products. He asked where I lived, and when I told him "Wilmslow / Alderley" he replied "oh dear. Bit of a beer desert, that area". And he's right. Why is it that Macclesfield, Bollington, Knutsford and other nearby areas support plenty of thriving 'locals' often selling the products of excellent small local breweries, but in this area they don't seem able to establish a foothold? Instead we have countless glossy 'gastro bars', and this looks like being another.
Fraser Pemberton
Sunday 17th April 2016 at 8:57 pm
Maybe Raymond Blanc could just give me half the money and I could tell him not to bother .....
Alan Brough
Monday 18th April 2016 at 11:14 am
@Pete Taylor.

I share your concerns as to why several incarnations of "The Brookfield" have failed.

Up until the mid 80's it was a very popular local pub for local people (if that doesn't sound a bit Royston Vasey!)

Since then it appears to have made a number of attempts to up it's game, but failed pretty miserably at each turn. Yet it's location, in pleasant walking distance of a great number of houses, suggest that it could and should do much better.

I don't mind too much what they do with it as long as there's a back room where grumpy old men can go and put the World to rights over a half of mild and a bag of scratchings!
Joan Potts
Monday 18th April 2016 at 2:45 pm
Vince, we do have the excellent Old Dancer in Wilmslow,who have just been awarded Camra pub of the year for Cheshire east,they have local beers,as do the Coach and four and the Conservative club.
In Alderley you also have The Sports and social club who
serve local beers as well.
John Clegg
Wednesday 20th April 2016 at 3:26 pm
Old Dancer's award is being presented on Fri 13 May, from around 8.00pm.

The Unicorn also sells a good range of local ales despite now being owned by Greene King. They have to keep 2 GK ales plus a choice of local ales - they seem to favour Mobberley Ales..

Vince, the problem appears to an over-supply of really, REALLY good locally-brewed beers. What Wilmslow, Alderley & Handforth need are more independent - or independently-minded - bars and pubs who are not restricted on what they can buy.
Vince Chadwick
Sunday 24th April 2016 at 5:55 pm
"Vince, the problem appears to an over-supply of really, REALLY good locally-brewed beers."

Nah, you can never have too many really good locally brewed beers.

"What Wilmslow, Alderley & Handforth need are more independent - or independently-minded - bars and pubs who are not restricted on what they can buy."

That I will drink to. Too many of what could be ideal locals are in the clutches of the dreaded Pubcos with their high rents and limited unimaginative selection of beers their tenants are forced to buy from the Pubco at high prices. As a result we don't see those really good locally brewed beers in those locals, only over-priced mediocre big-brewery beer, while the tenant struggles to pay the Pubco's and still make a living.

No wonder so many locals 'go under' after a short struggle and another tenant steps in to try to achieve the impossible.

One has to ask why the Pubcos can't see that this is not a business model that can ever succeed, but the cycle continues in some of our local pubs none the less.