Plan to turn village pub into houses prompts dozens of objections

The Old Horn. Photo: Gordon Hatton.

Dozens of local residents have objected to a plan to turn a village pub into two houses.

The owners of the Old Horn Inn in Spennithorne have attempted to sell the business as a pub.

However, with no takers a planning application has been submitted to covert the property into two houses.

The plans, submitted to Richmondshire District Council, have prompted a flurry of objections, with 69 people against the scheme and only two in favour.

Spennithorne Parish Meeting has also written to the district authority to say it “strongly objects” to the plans.

It states: “Over the years, The Old Horn Inn has been at the centre of social life in the village of Spennithorne and has also attracted a regular clientele from nearby villages.

“It is currently a valuable and important community asset, which hosts a number of local social activities and Sports Clubs, including the Spennithorne and Harmby Football Club, Spennithorne Cricket Club and Spennithorne Darts and Dominoes, which will all be adversely impacted by the proposed closure and conversion of the pub to provide residential accommodation.”

It points out that there is no alternative community provision such as a village hall in Spennithorne.

The group says the local community was not given the chance to explore the possibility of a community pub model or to seek to have the pub registered as a community asset before the application was submitted.

“Residents should at the very least be given time to explore these avenues before the application is determined.

“A local residents group has been formed with the intention of pursuing both these avenues to fruition.”

The group says the business had historically been a viable pub offering both restaurant and wet sales and, previously bed and breakfast accommodation.

But supporting documents submitted with the application state that the business is not viable, and that “significant investment would be required to support a viable wet sales and food offer”.

It adds that the village is not large enough to support its own pub and that there are more viable and prominent competitors within an short distance of the village.

The documents conclude: “The proposed development is designed to be a good fit with the village of Spennithorne and makes efficient use of a redundant building in a prominent location.

“The pub business is unviable and as an empty building it could soon become derelict.”

County councillor Tom Jones has written to the district council backing an application to make the building a community asset, which if approved would give the community six months to raise the funds to buy the pub, which is still being advertised for sale for offers around £325,000.

He said: “The Old Horn is the last pub in Spennithorne. It’s loss would be a tremendous blow to the local community, and a regrettable step towards the deracination of this wonderful community.”

For more information on the planning application, click here.

1 Comment

  1. Richmond District Council should demonstrate that they care about local communities by giving the residents more time to come up with an alternative.

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