COUNCIL chiefs are liaising with the owners of an East Lancashire pub site with the aims of seeing the historic venue rebuilt.

The Punch Bowl in Hurst Green was demolished without warning in the summer of 2021.

And later its owners and a management company were given hefty fines by magistrates following a succcesful prosecution by Ribble Valley Council.

Now the authority is in correspondence with the Donelan family over restoring the hostelry, which is thought to date back to the 1700s and was associated with highwaymen Dick Turpin and Ned King.

The Planning Inspectorate, around the same time as the prosecution, dismissed an appeal by the Donelans and ordered that the pub be rebuilt, using original materials where possible.

Ribble Valley Council has been overseeing surveys of building materials left at the site to see what can be re-used or not.

Recently Lyndsey Hayes, the borough's development management head, wrote to Preston-based planning agents Bramley, Pate and Partners about site surveys.

Piles of sorted building materials are being photographed by Chris O’Flaherty, a historic buildings consultant. The images show old and new materials such as stone, concrete and sills, and the site in general.

READ MORE: Five fined £20k for demolishing Punch Bowl and ordered to rebuild pub

In a recent letter, the officer wrote: “This letter is an interim response to confirm that following a site inspection of the material piles on July 19, 2023, the local planning authority is satisfied the modern materials pile, assorted modern waste material and timber/joinery (as shown in photos from May) are not suitable for re-use and can be removed from the site.

“There is also agreement the two piles of crumbling material are also not suitable.  However please submit clear photographic record of both piles before the local planing authority can agree to their removal from site.

"Once this has been submitted, I can provide a further interim response to confirm the authority’s agreement to their removal from the site.”

Her letter adds: “Discussions are ongoing regarding the suitability of the remaining on-site material.

"Following the conclusion of those discussions, the local planning authority will then be in a position to issue its final decision.”

The case of the Punch Bowl was brought into focus this week by the fate of the Crooked House pub, near Dudley, which was demolished after falling victim to a serious fire earlier this month.