Pair have six months to reopen Shropshire village pub or face eviction
A former landlord and landlady have just six months to reopen a Shropshire village's only pub or face eviction.
John Hickinbottom and Susan King have been given six months by a planning inspector to reinstate the Cleveland Arms in High Ercall, as a pub or vacate the premises near Telford.
It comes after the pub closed its doors to the public nearly three years ago in January 2016.
Mr Hickinbottom and Ms King have continued to live in the property and have carried out internal works including the removal of the bar and most of the ground floor interior.
The pub is listed as an asset of community value and therefore its loss is considered contrary to the policies of the Telford & Wrekin local plan.
An enforcement notice regarding the unauthorised change of use from public house to residential dwelling was served on March 2 this year, to which the pair appealed.
The appeal was dismissed on December 7 and they now have six months to leave the property or reinstate it as a pub to which they could reside in the first floor living area.
The decision by the planning inspectorate follows the dismissal of a planning appeal earlier in the year when permission was refused for the reconfiguration of the pub to a public house with dwellings.
Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “I am pleased that the planning inspector has backed the council’s stance – namely that the pub has shut and been internally gutted so in planning terms is no longer a pub.
“The Cleveland Arms was the only pub in High Ercall and was listed as an asset of community value. It was not in the best interests of the village for it to close as a pub and this contravened the policies of the Telford & Wrekin Local Plan."