Developer refused permission to demolish 200-year-old East Yorkshire pub to build housing - but residents encouraged to take it on

Plans to tear down a 200-year-old pub for four homes in an East Riding village have been refused despite the developer’s claims no alternative uses have been put forward.

The Sun Inn, Skirlaugh
The Sun Inn, Skirlaugh

East Riding Council’s Eastern Area Planning Committee refused the application to demolish the Sun Inn, in Church Lane, Skirlaugh, amid residents’ concerns over losing a heritage and community asset.

Stephen Lancaster one of 14 residents who objected to the application, told the committee he and others wanted the pub which closed in 2018 to be brought back into use.

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But Terry Litten, applicants Mr and Mrs Furman’s agent, said no viable alternatives to reopen the now derelict building as either a pub or community asset had been put forward.

Mr Litten also told the committee he believed opposition to the development stemmed from the loss of its car park, used by drivers visiting the village despite being private.

Mr Lancaster told councillors the spaces had always been used to avoid on-street parking and claimed the developer and site owner had let “wilful damage” happen to stop opposition efforts.

Committee and Mid Holderness ward member Coun Brian Skow said the value of the building had also been disputed.

He told the committee residents who approached the developer to buy it were given a price of £300,000, putting it “beyond the reach” of locals.

Plans for the development would see the pub torn down and a row of three terrace houses built as well as one bungalow.

The site was previously subject to plans for five houses, the refusal of which was upheld in an appeal which ruled the loss of the pub outweighed benefits of development.

Mr Litten said: “Council highways officers are satisfied with these proposals and the village is also served by the Duke of York pub.

“The premises is already in a state of disrepair and despite the claim of almost unanimous support for the pub no viable alternative uses have been put.”

Mr Lancaster said: “The developer underestimates our resolve to stop the demolition of this pub.

“Parking is a problem in the village, shoppers often struggle to find spaces and the site has always been used because of its proximity to the local church, post office and other facilities.

“We would like to see the council effect a compulsory purchase order on the building so it can be redeveloped as a community asset.”

Coun Skow said: “You wouldn’t believe the strength of feeling against this application. It would see the loss of a community asset which is much needed in these small villages.

“Residents approached the developer to buy it but the asking price was totally unrealistic, its value has been given elsewhere as £190,000 and £259,000, who’s telling the truth?”

Committee member Coun Chad Chadwick said: “It’s all very well saying it’s a community asset, but it’s closed because the community aren’t using it.

“I don’t suppose for a minute that the local parish could would want to spend £300,000 to buy it and turn it into a village hall.”

Committee chair Coun Sue Steel said: “It’s a tough one because we don’t know what happened with the pub in the past, some do well and others don’t.

“This decision may promote some action in the community to try and preserve the pub in some form.”