Landmark pub, the Longridge Restaurant, could be turned into new homes, after plans for its conversion were recommended for approval.
The historic inn, with its datestone ‘FTJ 1808,’ would become three houses and two flats if final approval is eventually given by Ribble Valley planners.
When the plan was first revealed by owner Paul Heathcote, who has run the once Michelin-starred hostelry for the past 21 years, he told The News he had hoped to find a buyer to take over the restaurant complex as a whole.
Its change of use would bring to three the number of local pubs turned into houses. The Weavers’ conversion to three properties is complete, and the former De Tabley Inn in Ribchester is currently being converted into five dwellings, with a detached barn conversion at the rear already sold and occupied.
If plans are approved, the Longridge Restaurant would return to its earlier status as Delph Cottages. The date plaque of 1808 with its initials – probably for Tom Fleming, a quarry owner’s father – and its stonemason’s tools of compasses, level and gavel, would be retained in the conversion as the entrance porch to one of the properties.
Planning details state the units would be in stone and render with slate roofing, and developers would be mindful of the heritage aspect of the property. Where naming is concerned, it has a long list of titles since Delph Cottages and the Quarryman’s Arms – it has been called Cottage Cafe, The Berries, The Royal Sovereign, Mother India, Pilgrims and Heathcotes before The Longridge Restaurant.
The De Tabley, on Blackburn Road in Ribchester, was built in the 19th century by the De Tabley family.
In the early 20th century it was a popular destination for mill workers from Blackburn, who would walk from Wilpshire to drink there and picnic by the river. It was known as ‘Little Blackpool.’
It was popular throughout the 20th century, and some of its grounds were home to Ribchester Cricket Club.
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Weather for Longridge
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 12 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West