A COMMUNITY campaign has saved a Grade-II listed pub building from being converted into housing.

The Duke of York pub in Grindleton, Ribble Valley, has been vacant since 2017 and plans had been submitted to the council to convert the building into a home.

These plans were vigorously opposed by the local community.

The owner of the pub, Simon Stansfield, of Billington, said in his submission to the council: “The proposal is to change the use of the public house with living accommodation to one dwelling with garden.

“This includes the demolition of two 20th century extensions and their replacement with single storey extensions to create dining area, kitchen and garage.

“Internal alterations are proposed to return the floorplan and staircase to the pre-20th century position.

"The vehicle access is to be altered and landscaping carried out to reduce ground levels at the rear of the building."

There have been three prior planning applications refused by the council between 2017 and 2020, with the fourth last week.

A total of 20 objections were received by the council and councillors have decided to refuse the proposals to turn the pub into a home.

Council officers stated in their recommendation to refuse the application that the proposed change of use would have a harmful effect on Grindleton.

Planning officers said: "The proposed development has a harmful impact upon the special architectural and historic interest and setting of the Duke of York listed building and the character of Grindleton conservation area.

“This is because of the loss of important historic use, the unduly prominent and incongruous form of the proposed extensions, incongruous and conspicuous roof-lights, the loss and alteration of important historic fabric, the enclosure of the curtilage by walling and gates, and the excavation and ground lowering of the rear plot."

On the Grindleton Pub Community Ltd website – a movement aiming to have a community-owned pub in the village following the closures of the two pubs in the area – said the building has “so much potential”.

They said: “The Duke of York has great potential to be so much more than a pub.

"As well as the café, regular income could be generated by offering bed and breakfast accommodation, refreshments for walking groups, cyclists, essentials shop, sweets, ice-cream and so much more.

“Professionally run and well-managed, we believe that the business can be profitable.

"In the unlikely event it is not, the community will own a valuable asset – the building and land associated with it.

“There have already been numerous conversations and approaches from a wide variety of people both within and beyond Grindleton offering practical assistance and financial commitment showing that there is a strong level of support to save the Duke of York and safeguard its future."