A Ribble Valley pub demolished without permission has been rebuilt
The owners of a former historic pub in Ribble Valley, which was demolished without permission, have been ordered to rebuild it.
The former Punch Bowl Inn in Longridge Road, Hurst Green, was hundreds of years old and listed for its architectural value. But it was demolished last summer without a building permit.
Now Ribble Valley Borough Council has issued an enforcement order, saying the structure must be rebuilt to its original plan, based on architectural records.
READ MORE:Spread Eagle: Reopening date confirmed for popular Ribble Valley pub
The inn is said to have been visited by highwaymen Dick Turpin and Ned King, and haunted by ghosts. The old pub sign depicts a masked bandit on horseback. brandishing a gun. Its history dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Over the years it has had a variety of uses including cottages, farming and a pub.
This week a spokesperson for Ribble Valley Borough Council confirmed that the enforcement order had been sent. She also understood that an appeal had been made by the beneficiaries against the enforcement order or other planning issues associated with the former Punch Bowl Inn.
A series of planning applications relating to holiday developments on the site have been submitted in recent years by Wilpshire’s Donelan Trading Ltd, after the former pub went up for sale in 2013.
These have included conversion, partial demolition and also extension works to provide holiday rentals and a cafe. Other proposals have included the creation of caravan sites and lodge accommodation.
The most recent request came in March 2021 for 15 caravan sites. But it didn’t go to the Ribble Valley planning committee until March 2022, where it was denied. The old pub was demolished last summer, 2021.
Many opposition letters were received by the planning department for the latest planning application for 15 caravan sites.
A letter stated: “I simply do not think it would be justified to give the owners the right to do anything with this land until a full investigation into the unlawful destruction of the Punch Bowl Inn is complete. They may be asked to rebuild the Punch Bowl and therefore it would not be compliant to have 15 static trailers nearby.”
Another letter raised questions about traffic at a future caravan site attempting to access Longridge Road.
The local parish council had also opposed the caravan plans, citing factors, including overdevelopment, road safety, demolition of the Punch Bowl Inn, which as a grade II listed building, and visual impact on the official Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The parish council also said a caravan park could no longer ‘piggyback’ on a hospitality venue, the demolished pub.
Ribble Valley planning officers had recommended denial. In reports written before the pub was demolished, they said the proposed caravan development would be detrimental to the setting of the listed hostel building, open countryside and the Forest of Bowland area.