Thursday, March 19, 2020


Trawling through Public Notices is something we were taught to do as a source of news while a young reporter 40-plus years ago and it's a regular task we've keep up to this day.
In the vast majority of cases in the early 1980s there was nothing of great interest, but occasionally you chanced upon what today is known in the newspaper trade as 'web gold' - meaning a story guaranteed a very high number of online hits.
One day, four decades ago, a routine Public Notice check alerted us to a plan to establish Brigg's first night club - a key factor being much later opening hours than other licensed venues in the town centre could then offer.
The venue earmarked for this exciting development, of major public interest, was to be the riverside White Hart pub, on Bridge Street.
The Notice gave only brief details so we had to exercise a little-used public right to inspect the plans lodged with the council and make an extract of the information ("at our own expense").
This was achieved by turning up at Glanford Borough Council's old planning office, housed in a portable building off Cary Lane.
The response received from staff suggested to us that very few (if any other) requests to do this were received at that time.
However, before long, the documents were produced and we sat in the foyer to extract the information required - copied down in a notebook to be typed up into a front page story on our return to the Lincolnshire & South Humberside Times newsroom at 57 Wrawby Street.
Sadly, the night club never came to fruition. But the story was very well read... in purely newspaper format, of course.
Today, North Lincolnshire Council routinely posts all applications and various supporting documents online through its planning portal which everyone can view, if they wish to, assuming they know where to look and how to search for particular ones of interest.
However, back in the 1980s, small print Public Notices initially appeared in the classified section of local papers, to be followed (some time later) by Brigg Town Council considering its response to them (with the press in attendance) before Glanford planners made final decisions while in Thursday session at the old council chamber in what's now Hewson House.
Returning to the present, Brigg Blog's latest trawl of Public Notices alerted us to an interesting Brigg area licensing application that has been submitted to North Lincolnshire Council for consideration.
It relates to the 100-room Nightel hotel at Humberside Airport, Kirmington, which we consider to be within our 'patch'.
The application is for the sale of alcohol all day, every day, and also includes the piped recordings of MP3 music, on-hold music for the venue's telephone system, television viewing in its public areas, live music, film showings and live dancing.
The council's Scunthorpe-based licensing section at Church Square House has set March 4 as the closing date for written comments anyone may wish to make. A decision will be taken at some point after that.
One Public Notice requirement that rather strangely has survived unchanged since the 'old days' is having to post a written copy of the application (planning, licensing etc) at or adjoining the premises or site concerned. This is usually done on nearby lamp-posts or telegraph polls. Why this old-fashioned practice continues in the age of the internet and social media we can't say. Does anyone, other than us, ever read them?
The White Hart, pictured above down the decades, changed hands in 2018 but has yet to reopen. Many people would like to see it back on the scene and have fingers crossed for some positive developments. We'll keep you posted should any news comes our way, with or without reference to a Public Notice!