Plans to build seven houses on village pub site near Leamington have been blocked

Planners said it would be an overdevelopment of the site

Plans to demolish a Harbury pub and replace it with seven houses have been blocked by planners who say it would be an overdevelopment of the site.

The work would have seen the Old New Inn on Farm Street knocked down prompting an outcry from villagers and organisations including the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the Harbury Society who said that it would be better to convert the building.

Harbury Parish Council and Cllr Jacqui Harris (Ind, Harbury) also voiced their opposition with the latter saying that there had been no public consultation and that she had concerns about access, impact on the highway and the layout of the site.

Plans to demolish a Harbury pub and replace it with seven houses have been blocked by planners who say it would be an overdevelopment of the site.

The application by Stratford-based Grevayne Properties is the latest in a number of proposals for the pub which was put up for sale in January 2017.

A report from commercial property consultants Wareing and Company explained: “During the marketing period we received interest from developers looking at the site for residential development, one party looked at the building for a change of use to offices as well as two enquiries to operate the property as a public house.”

It added that there was considered to be too much competition for a pub to survive with there being three others in the village and the office plan was scrapped because it would have been too costly.

The report concluded: “We feel that the site would be better placed to be redeveloped for residential dwellings to meet the ever growing need for housing.”

But the CPRE urged planners to reject the plans saying the existing building should be retained.

They said: “We have been told that several schemes for the redevelopment of this site have been proposed but all save one proposed the demolition of this building. Obviously to convert the building would be more expensive than to replace it.

“This building is evidently one of the village’s heritage assets and we are in full sympathy with those residents who have sent emails demanding that the building should be retained.”

Those points were taken on board by Stratford District Council’s planning officer Erin Weatherstone who said that the scheme would have led to the loss of a non-designated heritage asset which positively contributed to Harbury’s conservation area.

She also considered that the proposal would see the overdevelopment of the site and that some of the proposed houses would be overbearing and overshadow others.