The Punch Bowl Inn in 2018. Credit: Chris Heaton, CC BY-SA

Appeal lodged after council orders rebuild of unlawfully demolished historic pub

Donelan Trading has been trying to develop the grade two-listed Punch Bowl Inn site in Hurst Green since 2015. Last year, the building was destroyed without planning permission.

The unauthorised demolition led to an outcry from the Ribble Valley Council, which issued an enforcement notice in March. That notice is now the subject of an appeal.

“The council is of the view that it is expedient to take enforcement action, having regard to the effects of the works on the character of the building as one of special architectural and historic interest,” the notice read.

“The unauthorised demolition of the building has led to the total loss of a designated heritage asset and is contrary to paragraphs 200 and 201 of the NPPF, Core Strategy Policy DM5 and Section 66 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990,” it continued.

The notice then outlined the next course of action, stating that Donelan Trading must restore the building to its former state and in its original spot using the existing elevation drawings.

Donelan Trading has filed an appeal against the council’s notice. A date for the hearing to determine the case has not been set, but final comments are due by 20 June.

The Punch Bowl Inn dated back to the 1700s. Donelan Trading has filed 13 planning applications over the years for the site.

The first application dates to December 2015. It sought to turn the site into five holiday lettings and a café, as well as a static caravan holiday park. Within that planning application, the inn was described as “derelict due to water ingress following lead theft and vandalism and a massive dry rot infestation”. The application was refused, in part, because it would have a detrimental impact on the visual character of the open countryside and the harm it would cause to a heritage asset.

Donelan Trading found success in 2018 when a similar application – albeit with five fewer planned caravan sites – was approved. However, a year later Donelan Trading sought to replace the inn’s roof, which it said was “unsafe” so that construction could begin. That proposal was rejected.

The most recent application was submitted in November last year, several months after the inn had been demolished. This application focused on the curtilage of the inn and would have turned the area into a 15-pitch static caravan holiday park. It, too, was refused over grounds it would be harmful to the setting of a listed building and of the open countryside.

Want to learn more about the hearing? The appeal’s reference number with the planning inspectorate is APP/Q2371/F/22/3296097.

Your Comments

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It should be rebuilt, too many buildings of historical interest have been demolished in Lancashire.

By Mr lancashire

Rules are made for a reason, you can’t just pull down listed buildings,caravans would spoil the beautiful landscape.

By Derek Gardner

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