Former pub near Shrewsbury to be converted into housing

An “eyesore” derelict pub damaged in a fire 10 years ago is set to be converted into houses.

The Hare and Hounds in Cruckton was damaged in a fire in 2011
The Hare and Hounds in Cruckton was damaged in a fire in 2011

Plans for the former Hare and Hounds in Cruckton have been given the green light by Shropshire Council planning officers, who said the building was a heritage asset and should be saved.

Under the proposals, the building will be extended and re-configured into one three-bed house and three four-beds.

It is a move away from earlier plans, submitted in 2014, for the construction of six houses to finance the restoration of the pub and allow it to reopen.

That application was withdrawn in 2015 and the owners of the site, Shrewsbury-based HiRu Renovations Limited, now say it would no longer be viable to return the building to its former use.

This was accepted by planning officers, who said in a report: “Officers note that this site and building was subject of significant fire damage in 2011.

“The public house has never reopened with the substantial investment needed to re-instate the pub use given as a reason why this is not a viable business proposition.

“The site has since been sold to the current applicant and is currently fenced off from the road.

“Officers consider that the site is located in a rural location, set well away from any settlement and where it would be likely that any customers/visitors would need to arrive by vehicle.

“The public house does not therefore appear to serve any particular community and is not recorded as a Community Asset.”

The council’s heritage team described the pub, which dates back to the late 18th Century, as “historic” and of “high heritage value”.

Pontesbury Parish Council supported the application, saying: “The fire-damaged building is no longer viable as a public house.

“The site has been an eyesore on the landscape and is currently a magnet for vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

“The site has sufficient heritage value to merit the building being saved.”

There were no comments from members of the public over the application.

The planning officers’ report concluded: “The proposed conversion of the public house and part of the car park is considered acceptable in terms of the principle of the development, its scale, design and impact on heritage, highway safety and other material considerations with limited impact upon residential amenity.”

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