Previous schemes 17 - photo
Photo title:- Historic pub to dwelling house conversion. To take an un-viable
village public house & convert it back into a residential dwelling. A very contentious development
project that saddens most people including myself who supports British Pub culture and real ale etc. Completed
Description:- To structurally alter an existing detached pub building within an important
village setting and to seek planning permission to turn it into a substantial single dwelling house for
residential use through the Planning system.
Existing property:- A two storey historic stone pub building in Oxfordshire within a
central village location. The site benefited from a large side car park that could also accommodate a single
dwelling house as acceptable infilling.
Several attempts were made by various landlords over the last few years to rejuvenate the pub back into a viable
business but each attempt failed due to lack of support & patronage by the local villagers and other
passing trade. Recent cultural and taxation changes also had an influence on the pubs
decline that had now made this pub business un-viable as an economic and sustainable business into the future.
The property had a lot of previous piecemeal ground floor extensions that were detracting from the main
buildings character at the side & rear and needed to be removed. Although the property and site was
relatively large the main pub building was awkwardly sited on the plot within a tapering corner leaving little room
for the traditional rear private amenity area for a domestic dwelling.
Previous Planning History:- The previous owners attempted a planning application for a change
of use back to residential but it was poorly presented and lacked the correct supporting documentation
and was subsequently refused planning permission.
Clients requirements:- To convert the pub back into a single domestic dwelling with
minimal fuss and alterations for a straight forward Planning Approval as soon as possible. To
identify works that would lend itself to un-contentious development that would be supported by the Planning
CHP comments - CHP was given a free hand to propose a set of works
and alterations that was very much reliant upon exploiting the sites potential but
partly constrained by its current community use and awkward siting on the plot.
Opportunity existed for the conversion back to a single dwelling house provided we formulated a tactical and
considered approach to the Planning Dept. that ticked most of the boxes for such a development proposal.
Although some extension work was proposed a lot of the previous piecemeal ground floor additions were
actually removed to improve the character and amenity area of the property.
Understanding the LPA's planning policy and all the embedded 'trip wires' within that Planning Policy that could
be exploited by the Planning Dept and their third party consultations were crucial to a successful first attempt
Planning approval for this scheme.
Village pub conversions to remove the 'perceived' important community pub use is a 'hot topic' for most rural
communities that seek to retain such investments or assets even if they do not personally support their use during
normal opening hours throughout the week. Patronising a pub as a kind of occasional 'village
trinket' a few times a year by locals is simply not enough to make the business viable. Sustained weekly
involvement by at least 10% of the villagers is usually required to make the pub viable.
A couple of schemes were formulated by CHP for clients assessment and
approval and specialist Panning Consultants were brought on board to demonstrate the
acceptance and compliance of the scheme under current Planning Policy. Specialist viability reports were
also required together with a minimal and provable marketing period of around 1 year where the pub was
not taken up by a new owner for continued use as a pub business.
Failure to engineer and supply any part of the supporting documents for this type of
contentious Planning application would have resulted in an easy un-supportive approach from the Planning
Dept. being their usual default position. Tactics is everything in pub conversion work.
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