THE owners of a Grade II listed former pub, which was demolished without planning permission, have been ordered to rebuild it.

Ribble Valley Borough Council has served an enforcement notice on the owners of the Punch Bowl Inn site, stating the building "must be restored to its former state”.

People were left astonished when the historic building in Hurst Green, which was well-known for being haunted, was reduced to a pile of rubble in June.

The council’s enforcement notice, which it said was delivered by first class post, reads: “The council is of the view that it is expedient to take enforcement action, having regard to the effects of the works on the character of the building as one of special architectural and historic interest."

Lancashire Telegraph: The site in Hurst Green after the demolition last JuneThe site in Hurst Green after the demolition last June

The council added the owners must “restore the building to its former state, as detailed in the existing elevation drawings and in the location shown on the location plan”.

A number of planning applications were submitted by Donelan Trading Ltd of Wilpshire, following their purchase of the pub which was listed for sale in 2013.

The company originally applied for permission to convert the pub into five holiday lets and a cafe, which included the demolition of certain parts of the building and the erection of an extension, as well as a pitch for 20 static caravans, but the plans were rejected by Ribble Valley Borough Council in 2016.

Lancashire Telegraph: The former Punch Bowl Inn in Hurst GreenThe former Punch Bowl Inn in Hurst Green

A second application was submitted in 2018 for a similar development but this time with a 'pitch holiday lodge park with 15 units'. This was approved with conditions by the council in the same year.

In December, a planning application was submitted to the council, seeking permission for a change of use to land at the rear of the old pub so that a 15-strong static caravan holiday park could be built on the site.

The pub dates back to the 18th and 19th century and had a variety of uses through its years including domestic cottages, an inn and for farming.