A HISTORIC pub linked to notorious highwayman Dick Turpin could be transformed into holiday lets.

The plan for the Grade II-listed Punch Bowl Inn, near Hurst Green, has been submitted to Ribble Valley Borough Council by applicant Donelan Trading Ltd.

The new scheme could convert the building into a cafe, five holiday let apartments and 15 chalets if approved.

A similar proposal was rejected by the council last year.

The building dates, back to the 1700s, and was visited by highwaymen Dick Turpin and Ned King and held up around 15 carriages on the road from Clitheroe.

Turpin left after three days for York where he was later captured, while King stayed until he was captured by army ‘red coats ‘after a shootout and was hanged from a tree outside the pub.

The building, which at one time was an Indian restaurant, closed as a pub for the last time in 2012.

The agent for the developer said the plans would ‘attract tourism to the Trough of Bowland’ and the believe the building has a ‘negligible’ chance of re-opening as a pub.

A spokesman for Bramley-Pate plus Partners, which is the agent and architects for the project, said: “Their is a negligible chance that the property has a future as a public house or restaurant as there are two existing established pubs nearby in Hurst Green.

“The applicant has identified a demand for short break holiday accommodation.

“It’s close to the Trough of Bowland and the potential investment will attract visitors to the area which can only boost the local economy.”

Simon Entwistle, a local historian said the loss of the inn was ‘sad but a sign of the times’.

He added: “The Punch Bowl is a huge historic importance and the story of the Turpin and King still resonates centuries later.

“Encouraging tourism is important but I hope the building retains its character during any development.

“It’s a terrible shame.”