A POPULAR village pub has shut down after the owners submitted a planning application to turn it into a home.

The Belmont Bull closed permanently on Sunday, after an application to change the use of the premises was registered with Blackburn with Darwen Council.

On April 19 a post on the pub’s Facebook page said: “CUSTOMER NOTICE: We are sorry to inform all our customers that The Belmont Bull will cease trading at 9pm on Sunday 29th April

“We would like to thank all our customers for their loyalty and support.” Residents in Belmont were sad to see the pub shut, although one said he believed the village was too small to sustain more than one pub, with the Black Dog just down the road.

One man, who did not wish to be named, said: “There’s a lot of suspicion around the fact they were going to convert it into a house. It all seems to have fallen into place.”

He said: “The guy before struggled too but he always kept it going. It’s been there for 100 years. It’s not surprising it’s closed but maybe it just didn’t make enough money.”

Philip Yorke, aged 58, lives across the road from the pub and used to go in regularly and help out with the entertainment.

He said: “I’ve been going in there for 21 years. It’s been a central part of the community for over 100 years. A social network grew up round the pub that wouldn’t have existed in its absence.

“The beer has always been excellent with a wonderful range of real ales so it’s a shame to see that quality go.

“It was beloved of the small group of regulars that visited it.”

The pub’s landlady Heather Bluer and her husband Neil have jointly submitted the application to the council to change the use of the pub to a “residential dwelling”.

The application was submitted to the council on March 29 and includes plans to alter the ground floor to include a playroom, lounge, kitchen/diner and dining room.

The application also shows planned changes to the first floor, which is already in residential use, to five bedrooms, a bathroom, three en suites and a dressing room.

Mrs Bluer did not wish to respond to a request for comment.