THE last surviving pub in a Ribble Valley village is set to remain closed after plans to refurbish the interior were refused by Ribble Valley Borough Council.

The White Bull Hotel in Gisburn closed in November ahead of the proposed refurbishment, with owners Star Pubs and Bars also searching for a new tenant.

The company had hoped to reopen the pub in the spring but have said that the decision has delayed the project by at least three months.

The pub was established in 1865 and was left as the sole pub in the village after the closure of The New Inn, Ribblesdale Arms and The Commercial.

The Grade II listed building is owned by Star Pubs and Bars, which is currently searching for a new tenant to take on the business.

Gisburn resident David Waters said: “The closure of the pub has had an impact on the community and everyone was expecting it to reopen fairly soon after it closed last year. The village is able to sustain a pub and it would offer people another place to go again because there isn’t a lot of choice at the moment.

“It’s a shame that the council has refused the plans but it’s also important to maintain the character of the listed building.”

A Star Pubs and Bars spokeswoman said: “We were very disappointed that our planning permission was refused as it will delay the pub’s re-opening by at least three months.

“We’re talking to planning and intend to submit new plans which we hope will be acceptable.

“We’re keen to invest in the pub and would like it to re-open as soon as possible, as indeed would the local community.”

In a statement outlining the decision, the council said that the plans would be ‘harmful to the character and significance of the listed building because of the loss and alteration of important historic fabric.