A GROUP trying to breathe new life back into a former Ribble Valley pub have been dealt a blow.

The Duke of York closed last year, leaving the village of Grindleton had no pubs and no regular meeting places, apart from the village hall.

Grindleton Community Pub Ltd was set up with members wanting to turn the former watering hole into a community pub and cafe.

In November, the Lancashire Telegraph reported that the group had generated enough money to try to buy the pub off the current current owner.

However, Judith Douglas Planning have submitted an application on behalf of Mr S Stansfield for a change of use from public house with living accommodation to residential house.

In the statement for planners, it says the "proposed re-use of the pub and manager’s accommodation as a single dwelling, is the optimal viable use for this designated heritage asset".

It adds: “The proposal has regeneration benefits and will prevent further decline.”

The developers say that the current site had been "mothballed" and that continued lack of use "will inevitably mean that the building will deteriorate, and the investment required to bring it back into use will increase making the change of the return to a commercial use less likely".

They added: “The investment needed to refurbish the building and bring it back into a commercial use is substantial and it likely to be offputting to potential commercial investors.”

They said the vacant building has a negative impact on the appearance of the conservation area.

In the document it mentions that on September 3 the buildings was included on a list of assets of community value by the Grindleton Community Pub Ltd and the list was with Grindleton Parish Council.

Chris Grainger, of the community group, said: “It is disappointing that the current owner is again seeking planning permission for change of use.

"Grindleton Community Pub Ltd will be writing a response objecting to the change of use as we want to preserve this pub by purchasing it. We have made what we think are reasonable offers for the pub but they were turned down by the owner.”