Refusal recommended for latest plans to knock down 200-year-old pub in East Yorkshire

Councillors are being recommended to refuse plans to knock down a pub in East Yorkshire, after owners submitted fresh plans to turn it into housing.

The Sun Inn in Skirlaugh - closed since summer 2018
The Sun Inn in Skirlaugh - closed since summer 2018

In February a Government inspector dismissed an appeal to knock down the Sun Inn on Church Lane in Skirlaugh, which shut in the summer of 2018, into five homes.

Inspector Diane Cragg ruled that despite claims that the village’s other pub could serve the needs of the community, “the strength of opposition suggests that there is, and would continue to be, sufficient demand for a separate drinking establishment”.

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The latest planning application from the owners is for a terrace of three two-bedroomed homes at the front with a bungalow behind.

However there have been further objections to the demolition of what is one of the oldest buildings in the village, dating back to the late 18th century.

The pub is listed as an “asset of community value” due to its strong communal association with the heritage, social and rural aspects of village life.

Planners are recommending that the proposals for the pub is refused at a meeting on May 17.

They state that there are “currently no benefits...that would provide sufficient justification to outweigh the permanent loss of the community and heritage asset”.

The owners say the pub will cost too much to do up and have submitted a quotation from a building firm suggesting it could cost more than £300,000.

However officers say that carries “limited weight” as some of the works are needed because the property has deteriorated under their ownership.

Windows were removed at ground and first floor level, and these were later boarded up following enforcement action, a report to the council’s eastern area sub-committee states.

The pub sold for £150,000 in August 2018, but was put on the market in 2019 for a short period for around twice that amount, the report said.

This would “indicate that it was overvalued and therefore unlikely to receive any offers from future tenants or other parties who might have been interested in acquiring it"..

A key concern for villagers is a public right of way through the Sun Inn car park, used by residents of Poplar Close, many of whom are elderly, to get to the village’s Costcutters store and post office.

The council is currently consulting on adding two footpaths to their definitive map.

If there's a valid objection that could spark a public inquiry which could hold up construction for two years or more.

If the footpaths are accepted "then this will be a risk to the planning applicant and the development", the report adds.