Historic Hurst Green pub could be turned into holiday lets and cafe

Punch bowl, Hurst green. (s)
Punch bowl, Hurst green. (s)
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Plans to transform a derelict Ribble Valley pub into five holiday lets and cafe and build 20 holiday lodges in the grounds have been lodged with Ribble Valley Council.

Planning agent Richard Bramley, of Bramley, Pate and Partners, Bamber Bridge, says the new owners of the grade II listed former Punch Bowl Inn on Longridge Road at Hurst Green have been trying to find a use for the buildings and site “which will provide for the restoration of the listed building and give the premises as a whole a viable future.”

The pub, now owned by Donelan Trading Ltd, of Whalley Road, Wilpshire, Blackburn, has had a chequered history for the last 10 years, not only being run as a pub, but also an Indian restaurant and pub with function facilities, says Mr Bramley.

Empty for around three years, Mr Bramley says the premises are now “practically derelict” due to water ingress following lead theft and vandalism and suffers from a “massive dry rot infestation.”

He points out there are already two established pub-restaurants in Hurst Green and the applicants have “identified a demand for short break holiday accommodation and weekend holiday lodge accommodation.”

It is proposed to incorporate the cafe in the west end of the existing pub buildings, serving residents, visitors, passing traffic and cyclists during the day, while converting the rest of the core points of the premises into the five holiday lets on two storeys with new internal staircases.

The 20 timber holiday lodges would be erected on the rest of the 0.69 hectare site and while it is proposed to keep the existing entrance, there would be a new road “sweeping” around the area, with a parking space provided for each lodge, with 12 additional car parking spaces on the existing car park for the cafe’s customers and those using the five holiday lets.

The Punch Bowl lies on a bad bend and it is proposed to carry out improvements to the “slow” and “warning” signs as there is reduced visibilty to the right for drivers emerging from the access, although there is a traffic mirror opposite to increase their view. LCC road safety records show no recorded injury accidents on the B6243 within 100m of the pub in the last five years, say the applicants.