Council under fire over loss of historic pub’s interior

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A council has been criticised for acting unlawfully by granting planning permission which led to a listed pub’s Victorian interior being taken out.

The Campaign for Real Ale took Bradford Council to the High Court over the granting of listed building consent for alterations at the former Cock and Bottle to become a restaurant.

The council did not contest Camra’s view that they acted unlawfully in granting permission.

Camra has now succeeded in getting the High Court to overrule the council’s planning decisions on the pub on two occasions and must now pay Camra’s costs of around £8,000.

Taking the case to the initial Judicial Review was the first-ever such action by Camra. However, a second action was needed less than eight months later as planning permission and listed building consent were once again re-applied for and granted.

Camra chairman Colin Valentine said: “This is a landmark case of national importance and is an important step in our fight for the protection of Britain’s few remaining heritage pubs.”

Pub heritage campaigner Dave Gamston said: “It beggars belief that following the first planning permission being quashed by the High Court an almost identical second application was approved by Bradford City Council. We would urge the council to place greater importance on the preservation of historic buildings in future.”

A Bradford Council spokesman said it was considering the implications of the court ruling. He said allowing the conversion was the only alternative to prevent “deterioration and dereliction”.

“The majority of the historic interior of the building remains and has not been torn out.”

A new report to the planning committee will now be prepared.

“All views will be taken into account at that stage when the planning application will be re-determined by the council in public.”