Tiles replace thatch to improve fire safety at public house

Following a severe fire at a grade II listed public house in Somerset an inspector has agreed that replacing part of the roof with tiles instead of thatch would improve the safety of the building.

The original building had been substantially altered by the addition of a rear flat-roofed extension in 1986 which lay close to the rear roof slope. It was preferable to avoid the thatch reaching down to within half a metre of the flat roof particularly since the latter also acted as a fire exit and escape route. The inspector decided that if the rear roof slope of the main building was tiled this would reduce the potential for ignition of the thatch from the adjacent walkway on the flat roof thereby enhancing safety and ensuring that the escape route was maintained. This benefit outweighed the harm to the heritage asset by failing to re-roof entirely in thatch.

Inspector: David Richards; Written representations

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