The unique ‘hobby’ pub had stood empty since 2014, following the death of the landlord and owner. Despite strong local affection for the pub and nomination by the Campaign for Real Ale, moves to list the pub as an asset of community value had failed. The inspector decided that although the pub had not actively formed part of the life of the community for some time, in the absence of any other pubs in the village, the change of use would result in the permanent loss of a valued community facility. He also found the evidence did not unequivocally demonstrate that the public house could not be viable in the future, in addition to doubt over whether the sale price reasonably reflected the condition of the building or its current use class. With regard to the heritage asset, the inspector decided both a new pub use and an alternative dwelling use would entail physical alterations to the building and a residential use would be no less harmful.
Concluding it had yet to be satisfactorily established that the original use was no longer economically viable, and it remained possible that the future conservation of the listed building could be secured without harming historic significance through a change of use, the inspector rejected the appeal proposal.
Inspector: H Porter; Written representations