No go for plans to convert historic pub

HEREFORDSHIRE Council has rejected plans to turn an historic county pub into houses for a second time.

Thomas Hayes wanted to convert the Cliffe Arms in Mathon, near Ledbury, into two homes and build a detached property within the garden back in June last year.

Planners rejected the scheme back then because not enough evidence was provided to demonstrate the pub could not be made a viable business.

They also said at the time the loss of the community hub would not contribute to the social wellbeing and vitality of the village.

Mr Hayes submitted new plans for the site this year and consultants working on the scheme said the repeat application was to overcome the previous reasons for refusal.

However, around 150 people objected to the proposals and the council rejected it again.

The latest plans were refused on six separate grounds and planning officers highlighted the failure of the owner to either market the pub for sale or to be able to demonstrate it is no longer needed or commercial unviable.

Mark Haslam, from Herefordshire Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) said: “This outcome shouldn’t have surprised anyone.

“The owner has persistently failed to market the premises for sale, and unsolicited offers to buy the Cliffe Arms (to run it as a pub) have been declined or ignored.

“It appears the owner doesn’t want anyone else to run the pub.

“Emphatically failing to meet the tests set out in national and local planning policies, this application was doomed from the start, just like the previous one was.

“It shows how unjustified and lacking in merit this proposal was that there were over 150 objections and not a single letter of support.

“It can only be hoped the owner now stops wasting everyone’s time and sells the pub to one of the potential buyers.”

Hereford Times