Reindeer Inn: Plans submitted to demolish Wakefield pub which dates back to early 1700s

Plans have been submitted to demolish a Wakefield pub which dates back to the early 1700s.

The scheme includes building five houses once the Reindeer Inn, at Overton, has been knocked down.

A report submitted to Wakefield Council says the business is ‘not viable’ due to a 60 per cent drop in income since the pandemic.

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The detached stone building, opposite the National Coal Mining Museum for England, dates back to 1704 but does not have listed status.

Reindeer Inn, Overton, Wakefield.Reindeer Inn, Overton, Wakefield.
Reindeer Inn, Overton, Wakefield.

A statement submitted on behalf of the applicant says: “The existing owners have been in situ for over 17 years, but since the pandemic have seen their income drop some 60 per cent.”

The document says a weekly average of 120 Sunday lunches were sold at the pub before the pandemic but the number had dropped to an average of 27.

It adds: “Staff levels have dropped from 11 down to four.

“Meanwhile, energy prices are now costing £1,200 for January’s electricity and £350 for gas for the same period, with the possibility that they may rise even further in future.

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“This has caused (the owners) to explore other avenues for them, which has led to this proposal.”

The report says the area is well served by other pubs, including the Black Swan, at Overton, and the Albion House Club, at Middlestown.

The scheme includes building on land leading down to New Road, part of which is a disused playground.

Outbuildings near to the pub would also be demolished if the scheme was approved.

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The proposals include building three detached and two semi-detached houses, all with private drives and garages.

Access to the site would be from Old Road.

The report also says: “It is felt that due to the ongoing non-viability of the business, and with no foreseeable upturn in the near or distant future. . . the best option is to generate income by developing the site for residential purposes and provide needed family accommodation.”

Three people have objected to the planning application.

One resident said: ” The Reinder Inn is a quaint building dating back centuries.

“Its backdrop is the National Coal Mining Museum with its many listed buildings.

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“It is a pub that was used by the miners and still is visited by many loyal customers from over the decades.”

Another objector said: “There are so few older buildings left in Overton.

“The lovely, well-built stone property has been a local landmark for centuries.

“There is no good reason to demolish this building.

“The building is part of the identity of Overton and should not be lost.”

Two people have made comments in support of the plans.

One said: “The pub is always empty when I pass.

“It’s not used by the community as there is a pub further on Old Road.”

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