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New bid to convert disused pub in Derbyshire village into house

News
News

The fate of a disused pub in a Derbyshire village could be sealed after another application to turn it into a home was submitted.

The Yew Tree Inn in Holloway, near Matlock, closed its doors to the public in February 2008.

Despite spending 29 months on the open market, no prospective buyers have come forward to reclaim the venue, on Yew Tree Hill, and retain it as a pub.

Amber Valley Borough Council suspects that this was ‘due to the changes in people’s drinking preferences; with a preference for drinking more cheaply at home, rather than going out’.

The applicants, Mr and Mrs C. A. Westnedge, have been tenants of the pub since 1989 and bought the venue in 1991.

In 2011, the couple submitted an application to the borough council to change the pub into a house, but this was refused by councillors against recommendations from officers.

Councillors felt that ‘it has not been demonstrated that there is insufficient demand to justify or sustain the use of the public house as an existing community facility’.

The applicants appealed against this decision and a hearing took place in 2012.

While the planning inspector, who led the hearing, accepted that the public house was unprofitable for a considerable period, and apparently was not frequented by local people in large numbers in the years leading up to closure, he considered that this could change in time and under different operating circumstances.

“Once the facility is lost, it is unlikely to be regained by the village,” the inspector stated.

Dismissing the appeal, the inspector stated: “The evidence does not convince me that the Yew Tree could not be operated in a commercially viable manner, and thereby make a positive contribution to the community.

“Whilst I appreciate it has not traded for some time, I consider its permanent loss to residential use would be harmful to the social and economic life of the village of Holloway.”

Now the applicants have submitted another application to turn the pub into a house, along with a first-floor terrace and work to change the car park into a landscaped garden.

In papers submitted by Lichfield firm 2 Cities Planning Consultancy, with the application, it states: “As there are other meeting places and community facilities can be found within Holloway and little realistic prospect of the revival of a pub on the site, it is considered that the application proposal would not give rise to significant harm to the village warranting the refusal of the application.”

The application will be decided by the borough council’s planning board in the next few months.