Manor House, Otley: Yorkshire pub could be turned back into houses for the first time since 1870s by developer

A housing developer has applied to turn a former pub back into two dwellings for the first time since it was licensed in the 19th century.

Otley Pub Club campaigners had been lobbying for the Grade II-listed Manor House in the market town to remain as licensed premises after it was closed in 2022 and subsequently sold by owners Thwaites at the end of last year.

However, it emerged that they had accepted an offer for the building from Leeds-based housing developer Carlton Homes Ltd, and had declined a bid from a local brewery to buy and re-open the pub as well as interest from two other parties who believed it was viable as a business.

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Carlton's agents have now submitted a planning application to Leeds City Council in which they confirm their intent for the Georgian buildings to be returned to residential use.

Manor House, OtleyManor House, Otley
Manor House, Otley

The pub was originally numbers 7 and 9 Cross Green, which formed a group of houses built in the late 18th or early 19th century. In 1851, number 7 was home to a confectioner, and it was first licensed in the 1870s, when innkeeper Henry Pullan owned it.

The pub was still one building by 1911, before eventually expanding into the adjoining house. It was the last freehold inn in Otley, and in 1941 it was taken over by a brewery.

In planning documents, Carlton Homes stated that they consulted with heritage experts before rejecting several earlier schemes, including one for six apartments and the other for conversion into three houses. The developer eventually favoured the ‘simple solution’ of restoring the building back to being two dwellings. Agents said a ‘sympathetic’ renovation was planned with the fabric of the building preserved.

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Otley Pub Club described the plans as a ‘cynical property grab’. Although its members managed to secure Asset of Community Value status for Manor House, the moratorium period when the owners were required to give first refusal to an offer from a community group to buy and run the pub themselves expired without a bid being made.

The application remains under consideration and public consultation is open.

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