The Crown Inn, on Main Street, Paull, opened in 1856. Developers say it is unlikely to reopen after the end of the pandemic and claim the redevelopment is a “huge opportunity” for the village.
The site, including its large beer garden, would be used for a “high-quality” terrace of eight homes with balconies facing the Humber and two detached properties at the rear.
However Hull and East Yorkshire Campaign for Real Ale accused the developers of looking to “cash in on the current economic crisis” and said the buildings “resemble beach huts”, replacing a focal point in a conservation area.
A spokesman for the local branch said the developer had not provided evidence “to support the contention that it is not viable nor of any the marketing strategy to sell the premises as a going concern as required by the council’s Local Plan.”
Parish council chairman Graham Shaw said the council hadn’t yet discussed the plans, but added it looked a “very attractive design”, which would blend in with the new village hall and adjacent lighthouse.
He said councillors would have to speak to residents who were going to lose their river views. He said the pub had been closed for a long time before lockdown.
The Crown stands across the road from the Humber Tavern, with the Royal Oak further down the road.
Architect David Ettridge, who designed the scheme, said: “I don’t think we are cashing in on the Covid crisis. I’m no economist but I do know pubs are suffering.
"Having two rather than three trying to struggle for the same business is a sensible way forward. The developer’s family is from Paull and it’s quite close to his heart and he’s keen that it’s a good thing for the village.”
He said he didn’t take the remark about beach huts “as an insult”, adding: “I love beach huts. I take it as a compliment”.
Camra national planning policy adviser, Paul Ainsworth, said there was no evidence that the public appetite for pub-going had diminished.
He said: "Indeed it's quite the opposite - people are desperate for pubs to reopen as shown by the bookings for outdoor tables in chilly April.
"Specialist pub-selling agents report a buoyant demand for pubs and here in Barnsley I can't remember a time when there have been so many planning applications for new pubs and bars.
"The British pub will be storming back soon."