George and Dragon, Holmpton: Fresh attempt to turn 114-year-old pub near Withernsea into homes

A new attempt is being made to close a centuries-old pub on the Yorkshire coast for good and turn it into four homes.

The George and Dragon at Holmpton, a 214-year-old pub, where shipwreck survivors used to be taken, shut six years ago after owner Charles Brokenbrow said it was operating at a loss.

Plans to turn the village’s only pub into a house were refused by East Riding councillors in 2018 and an appeal by Mr Brokenbrow was dismissed by a planning inspector in 2020.

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A further application to convert it to housing, retaining part of the ground floor as a pub, was similarly refused and an appeal dismissed. But last year officials approved a third plan, which was supported by villagers, to have the pub partly converted into two two-bedroomed homes and four letting rooms, but retaining the manager's accommodation.

The George and Dragon shut its doors six years agoThe George and Dragon shut its doors six years ago
The George and Dragon shut its doors six years ago

Significantly it left enough space for a pub to operate and at the time villagers were hopeful it would reopen to once again become the "heart of the village". However Mr Brokenbrow is now applying for permission to convert the whole of the pub into housing.

In planning documents he states that efforts were made to sell the building after planning was granted in August 2022 for the smaller pub and two homes, with no success.

They’d set a guide price of £310,000, but failed to raise any interest and a planned auction was cancelled. He stated: "We have done everything reasonable possible to move the property on, but it’s not happening, we just want to move on with our life."

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The community group which formed to consider buying the George and Dragon as a community pub are no longer considering this, he said. The statement said three different landlords over a decade had lost money trying to trade from the pub. It stated: "Communities often feel strongly about the loss of their local pub, but it does not always translate to physical support or regular custom. When a pub is open, one-off visits are not enough to sustain a business." Known first as the The Man’s Head or The Board, by 1840 it was The George. It was used as a Bethel where shipwreck survivors could recover.

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