The Old Bells, Campsall: New owners of 17th-century Yorkshire pub apply for permission to run it as a holiday let

The new owners of a 17th-century pub in a Yorkshire village have applied for consent to convert the building into a six-bedroom holiday let.

Grade II-listed The Old Bells in Campsall, near Doncaster, had ceased trading several years before it went on the market in 2022, having been restored and renovated by local builders Coen Construction.

The buyer was Lincolnshire-based Perwinder Samra, an experienced holiday accommodation operator, who has now applied to Doncaster Council for retrospective permission for a change of use for the building.

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The pub has been available as a holiday let since last May, and is advertised on booking sites as sleeping up to 18 guests and offering a games room, hot tubs, spa room and bar area.

The Old Bells, Campsall, before closureThe Old Bells, Campsall, before closure
The Old Bells, Campsall, before closure

Mr Samra’s main alteration would be to reduce the number of parking spaces from 40 to 15.

In a submission to planning officers, he said: “The Old Bells inn has for a number of years been unoccupied; the property was extensively redeveloped and brought back to a very high standard by Coen Construction with the intention of once again establishing a public house.

"Although the building was ready for occupation, public houses are closing on a weekly basis; with the onset of Covid and rising expenses this has only accelerated the unfortunate demise of many local pubs, resulting in many empty buildings.

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"Having been in the holiday home business for approximately 10 years, my wife and I saw the opportunity to take on The Old bBells and change its use; we have other properties within Lincolnshire and are experienced operators.

The village was once dominated by two nearby estates, Campsall Hall and CampsmountThe village was once dominated by two nearby estates, Campsall Hall and Campsmount
The village was once dominated by two nearby estates, Campsall Hall and Campsmount

“We have a number of preventative measures in place to keep noise nuisance to a minimum, strict rules which all guests are made aware of, backed by a large deposit which will be lost if there are any issues. There are detectors within the property that measure sound levels; if the acceptable level is breached then a text message is sent to the guest and to me to make me aware, these detectors also monitor the number of mobile phones in the property to establish how many guests are present, which is a good indicator as to whether or not there are any unauthorised guests.

"We are very strict that only the number of guests that are booked are allowed to attend. Also in the event that guests don’t adhere to the rules and continue to create excessive noise, we have a local security company which can attend on a call out basis , as of yet we haven’t required their services. The accommodation has been running since the end of May 2023 and to my knowledge there haven’t been any issues regarding noise or parking.”

The booking site also advises than hen and stag parties are not welcome.

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The pub is the oldest in the Doncaster area, and has origins going back to the 1600s. It went back onto the market after a local cafe and gift shop, Jaffa & Cakes, had to pull out of a deal to move into the building, which the developer had bought in 2020.

Most of the fabric of the building, which was formed by the merging of The Old Bells and The Chimneys, dates back to the early 19th century. It was originally called The Ring of Bells.

Campsall was an estate village until the 1950s, dominated by two landowning families, the Bacon Franks of Campsall Hall and the Cooke-Yarboroughs of Campsmount. Both country houses had been demolished by the 1980s.

The application is under consideration.