Dales pub owner served with enforcement notice over use as house

The Moorcock Inn. Photo: John Illingworth.

The owner of a historic Dales pub has been served with an enforcement notice to stop the premises being used as a house.

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) is taking legal action against Jo Cox, the owner of the Moorcock Inn, in Garsdale, near Hawes.

It comes after plans submitted by the landlady to turn the bar area into a residential space, and the former manager’s flat and office into a tearoom, were rejected.

The application also sought retrospective permission for the retention of three letting rooms.

The application stated that a fall in trade in the pub had prompted the decision to open a tearoom and holiday lets business instead.

However, planners ruled that no proof had been submitted to convince them that changing the use of the premises was the only option.

YDNPA members then voted for enforcement action to be taken over changes already made at the pub.

A YDNPA spokesperson said: “The Moorcock Inn is considered to be a valuable community facility with potential for a sustainable business to continue in the future.

“There have been no independent assessments carried out to demonstrate that there is no option other than to permanently close it and change its use to a dwelling.

“Furthermore, the proposed tearoom and letting room use is not considered to be of equivalent benefit to the community or the local economy.

“As such the works that have already taken place at the inn are considered to be harmful to the social vitality of the community and the rural economy and that is why planning committee voted to take enforcement action.

“An enforcement notice requires the cessation of use of the manager’s accommodation as a tearoom and holiday let, and the cessation of use of the main Moorcock Inn as a dwelling house, within six months.”

The notice also requires the owner to remove all fixtures and fittings associated with the use of the building as a house from the bar and other downstairs public areas.