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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Cumbrian pub can be turned into house after long dispute

Plans to turn a pub in Westnewton into a house have been approved after nearly three years of wrangling.

Roger Thorne, publican at the Swan Inn, first submitted plans to turn the 18th-century pub into a house in 2008. Since then there have been many twists and turns to the application.

However, now the plans have finally been approved, subject to conditions.

The bid was originally refused on the grounds that the premises had not been advertised for a reasonable period of time, at a price which reflected the pub’s value.

References were made to the fact that the community had not been given the opportunity to put in an offer for the premises in the village near Aspatria and retain it as a public house.

An inspector has since concluded that the £295,000 asking price for the pub was a reasonable and realistic figure, and taken into account that no bids were made even at a lower price.

It was also acknowledged that it would be unlikely that the pub would have been bought, despite a lengthy marketing campaign.

The inspector concluded that the loss of the public house to the local community was outweighed by the individual merits of the proposal.

The plans were first lodged in September 2008 and rejected two months later after 132 objections to the plans. In May 2009 Mr Thorne’s appeal was dismissed, but on August 9 this year they were approved.

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