Villagers are urging planners to pass a scheme to secure the future of a community asset by converting an 18th century inn into a ‘destination restaurant’, despite roads bosses saying the plan could endanger people’s lives.
The parish council representing the Lower Wensleydale village of Patrick Brompton said in a year when so much damage has been done to the fabric of society, the proposal for the grade II listed The Green Tree represented an opportunity to renew one of its key community assets.
A meeting of Richmondshire District Council’s planning committee next week will consider a proposal to build a two-storey extension and change the use of its first floor from a hotel to a restaurant.
The application comes several years after the pub beside the A684, the main eastern gateway to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, last traded and following a community drive which led to the inn becoming registered as a community asset.
Developers said the scheme would respect and enrich the inn’s character, surrounding conservation area and neighbouring grade I listed church, while providing the village with a high-end destination to eat and drink.
The application states: “Hopefully the proposal will also attract further local customers and bring visitors from further afield to the area.”
While the Patrick Brompton Village Plan agreed in 2019 highlights concerns over road safety on the A684, North Yorkshire County Council’s highways officers have concluded a shortage of parking spaces at the proposed restaurant could see cars parked on the road.
An officers’ report to the meeting added changing the inn from more a traditional drinking pub to a restaurant would lead to the “possibility that cars may end up being parked around the village”.
It concludes the proposals would “have an unacceptable and significant adverse impact on highway safety”.
Despite residents concerns over road safety, dozens of villagers and the parish council have urged planners to approve the proposal, saying the benefits of retaining The Green Tree as a viable business outweigh other issues.
Resident James Murray wrote: “This property must remain a public house and as such will contribute immeasurably to the local community.”
A parish council spokesman added: “The village of Patrick Brompton wish to see The Green Tree remain as a viable public house, incorporating a restaurant, believing it to be a community asset…
“Further efforts by the applicant to improve parking at the proposed site have been welcomed. The parish council naturally will always have concerns about the impact of the village green being used as an overflow car park.
“If the application were not to proceed then the building itself would either fall into such disrepair it would be an eyesore or an application would be made to turn into a residential dwelling which would result in the longer term loss of this valuable community asset.”