UK Estates Management has been given consent to transform Grade II-listed The Green Tree Inn in the Lower Wensleydale village of Patrick Brompton into a ‘destination restaurant’, despite North Yorkshire County Council’s highways officers warning the move could impact on road safety.
It is hoped the proposed changes, which will include a change of use of the mid-18th century inn’s upper floor and an extension, will lead to a reversal of fortune for the pub which has remained closed for a few years and is listed on the property market priced at £400,000.
While the maintenance of all listed buildings is viewed as crucial, the inn is viewed as particulary important as it stands next to the Grade I-listed, late 12th-century St Patrick’s Church.
Despite this, Richmondshire planning officers concluded that as the developer was targeting customers from a wide area and as it had been unable to confirm it would provide enough parking spaces in the village, the new-look inn would result in vehicles being parked on the A684, the main Bedale to Wensleydale route.
Highways officers said the inn’s transformation could be to the “detriment of the free flow of traffic and road safety” as there would a shortfall of at least six parking spaces.
However, planning officers recommended if the plan was approved conditions should be imposed on the developer to make changes to the car park and cover the county council’s costs in providing formal waiting restrictions system on the A684 near the pub if a parking problem was to arise.
After the meeting, Richmondshire Council’s planning committee chairman Coun John Amsden said following the closure of numerous village pubs in recent years members had been determined to help The Green Tree Inn re-open.
Lower Wensleydale member Coun Richard Ormston said: “It’s the hub of the village, along with the School Room, with quiz nights, meals, there’s been quoits and darts teams. The plan to have it as mainly a restaurant would bring a lot of passing trade. It will be open for long hours during the day and hopefully create employment.
“It has taken nearly two years to get it granted because of the impact on the heritage area. It looked pretty well doomed for a long time until a scaled down plan was negotiated.”
Coun Ormston said he had lived in the village for 64 years and had never known there to be parking issues on the A684 when the pub or church became busy.
Patrick Brompton Parish Council chairman Grahame Shepherd said the authority wanted to work with the developer over resolving potential parking issues in the village “to make sure the green grass of Patrick Brompton doesn’t become a car park for the Green Tree” pub.
He said: “The community asset, all being well, is being maintained, which is what we were hoping for and we can all just move forward now and see what happens in terms of what the applicant decides to do with the permission they have got.”