PROPOSALS to turn a former pub in the centre of Selby into a house, office and flats have been blocked.
The Golden Lion, in Millgate, closed just over a year ago after trade fell away, leading to a scheme being drawn up to convert it into two studio apartments, a two-bedroom flat and another two-bedroom property, as well as a business unit.
But planning officers at Selby District Council have now rejected the application after raising concerns over whether the proposed transformation of the Grade II-listed building – believed to date back to the 19th-Century – would affect its historic status, despite assurances from the developers that the exterior of the site would be protected.
The pub was registered with the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) as a cask-ale server, but a statement submitted to the council by Inspire Design Consultancy Ltd – the agents, acting on behalf of applicant Philip Potter – said the “economic climate and changing social trends and drinking patterns” had led to its demise.
The firm said it was unlikely the building, which lies within the Selby conservation area, would become a viable business again, and turning it into housing and office space would be a continuation of attempts to regenerate Millgate after several neighbouring vacant sites were converted to homes.
“The proposal is in keeping with the surrounding residential area and would be ideal for first-time buyers, key workers or investors,” said the statement.
“The proposed office unit provides space for small businesses and continues the opportunity for local employment, while helping to conserve the former public house.”
Selby Town Council did not object to the scheme, although it said any alterations to the building should only be made “with good reason”.
But planners ruled “insufficient information” had been provided by the developers over how the conversion would affect the overall fabric of the listed structure.
Last month, The Press reported how CAMRA believed traditional Selby pubs were struggling to survive because high numbers of bars in the town had left drinkers spoilt for choice.