Saturday, 28 November 2020

Listed pub could be converted into home

AN empty pub in the centre of Henley could be converted into a five-bedroom house.

AN empty pub in the centre of Henley could be converted into a five-bedroom house.

Plans to redevelop the former Horse & Groom in New Street have been submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council.

Owner Paul Woods, who lives in New Street, wants to demolish a Sixties outbuilding at the back of the pub and replace it with a single-storey extension.

This would be used as a kitchen, dining room and utility room, while the main building would house five bedrooms on its upper two floors.

One would have an en-suite toilet and there would be two further bathrooms on each storey. The old bar fixtures would be removed from the ground floor, which would house two living rooms, a study and a door to the extension.

Because the building is Grade II listed, the district council has asked several national history groups for their views.

These include the Georgian Group, the Victorian Society, the Ancient Monuments Society and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

The public can make comments until April 25 and the council expects to make a decision by May 8.

The property was built as a house in the late 1600s but was being used as a pub by the late 1800s.

It was originally a timber-framed building but was refronted with bricks in the early 1700s. Former landlord Alan Woolgar, who now runs the neighbouring Rose and Crown, left in August.

In a report to the district council, Mr Woods’ planner JPPC says: “It is sad that the premises have closed but that is not a reason for refusing a planning application.

“There is no planning justification for requiring the premises to stay as a public house.

“The premises could be put to other uses, for example as a coffee shop under permitted development rights, but it would appear than Henley is equally well-appointed for such uses and the need for housing is more pressing.

“There would be no diminution in the quality of life in Henley and the ability for Henley to function socially because sufficient meeting places would remain available.”

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