A builder was trusted to rebuild a beloved UK pub went on to build something completely different.
After illegally tearing down the pub, the developer vowed to build a new pub in a similar historic style. However inspectors found there was no bar and it was plainly unsuitable to be used.
Inspector Laura Renaudon found it appeared to be two separate houses with their own gardens, living spaces and meters contained within a building with some outside features of the pub, reports Hull Live.
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Submissions on behalf of developer Wayne Low stated it had rebuilt it in the style of the demolished pub with no requirements to recreate the original internal layout. The inspectors finding came as she dismissed Mr Low's appeal to overturn East Riding Council's refusal to sanction the building as having met the requirements of a court order.
The council refused to grant Mr Low a certificate of lawfulness after it found it was more akin to two dwellings linked by one doorway, rather than a functioning pub. It comes after Mr Low was found to have illegally demolished the pub despite being told to stop when the council took him to court in 2021.
Since then a new structure required to look like the Travellers Rest and function as a pub has has been built and Inspector Renaudon visited it last month (September). In her findings, the inspector said what she saw was not a rebuilt public house.
The inspector said: "The property now lacks benefit of a cellar, although it may be possible to run a public house without a beer cellar, it would be unlikely for one of this size. The inspector deciding the former appeal required the provision of customer toilets which at least implies more than one, and without a separate lobby area this single lavatory is unlikely to be suitable for customers of a public house potentially serving food.
"There is no bar or any evidence of any services to facilitate the creation of one. Nor is there a car park, the ground floor kitchen is a domestic rather than a commercial one, it is plainly unsuitable for use as a public house.”
An earlier planning statement from the developer claimed the building was suitable because it replicated the form of the previously demolished pub. It stated: "The alterations to the building are minor, a recent enforcement appeal concluded that the building did not need to be reinstated to the former internal layout.
"The building has been built on the same footprint as the original. It is therefore concluded that the building has been rebuilt in compliance with the enforcement notice.”
The Travellers Rest had stood vacant since its closure in 2018 and Mr Low's company AGML (UK) Ltd bought before tearing it down from that November to February. The company claimed it was in a serious state of disrepair at the time.
The developer originally applied to build six homes and a micropub in the surviving part of the Travellers Rest, the now operational Micro Pig, but was refused planning permission. Hull Crown Court heard in 2021 the demolition had caused irreparable harm to the area and Mr Low had shown no remorse.
The building was unlisted but was in a conservation area. Recorder Tahir Khan QC told Hull Crown Court the demolition was a blatant disregard of the law and was done purely to make profit.
The council's spokesperson said they were taking time to consider the matter further after Mr Low's appeal against their latest decision was thrown out. The spokesperson said: "We note the decision of the independent planning inspector to dismiss the appeal made by Wayne Low in relation to the rebuilding of the former Travellers Rest pub in Long Riston.
"We are pleased the inspector agreed with our decision to refuse the certificate of lawful use, and particularly note the inspector’s conclusion that the building was not rebuilt as similar as possible to the one that was demolished, and that internally it was immediately evident the property had not been designed as a rebuild of the pub."
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