Planning inspector to decide fate of Skeeby pub

The Traveller's Rest in Skeeby.

A planning inspector will consider the fate of the former village pub in Skeeby next week.

The owner of the Travellers Rest is trying to overturn Richmondshire District Council’s decision to reject his plans to convert the property into a home.

Owner Jon Whitfield applied to convert the building into a house in 2015.

However, the application was rejected by Richmondshire District Council.

It ruled that the Travellers Rest was the only public house in Skeeby and while it had been closed since 2008, there was “strong evidence” to demonstrate that the pub was still wanted by the community.

The premises were formally registered as an Asset of Community Value in October 2015.

The council added: “It is considered that the applicant has not adequately demonstrated that the public house has been suitably marketed at its existing use value having regard to the condition of the premises.

“Offers have been made to purchase the premises on behalf of the local community at a value which the council believes to be appropriate.”

The council said it was not satisfied that the pub no longer had a viable future as there was clear evidence to show that the asset was still required by the community who have a business model to demonstrate the viability of a community public house.

Villagers have formed Skeeby Community Pub Society in a bid to restore the Travellers Rest to a working pub and have offered to buy the building from Hartlepool developer Mr Whitfield.

The appeal will be heard on Wednesday at Richmondshire District Council’s offices at Mercury House.

It is due to last one day.