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Investigation into demolition of Punch Bowl Inn ‘ongoing’ as council contact landowner for answers

A council say they have been in touch with a landowner and are continuing to investigate after a Grade II listed pub was demolished without consent.

Last month, residents were angered after The Punch Bowl Inn in Hurst Green, which had been left to fester for years, was razed to the ground.

Ribble Valley Borough Council said on June 16 that they were looking into the matter.

Lancashire Telegraph: The Punch Bowl was demolished on Tuesday. Pic: Katherine Turner

But this week, a spokesperson for the local authority issued this statement: “We have contacted the landowner and are seeking a full understanding of the events that led to the demolition of this listed building.

“Our investigation is ongoing.”

The council expects to have a response by the end of July.

Council ‘looking into’ shock demolition of Ribble Valley’s Grade II listed Punch Bowl Inn

The Punch Bowl Inn has a colourful and symbolic history, as it was visited by highwaymen Dick Turpin and Ned King in the late 1730s and the ghost of ‘Old Ned’ was said to still roam the pub.

Standing in Longridge Road since the 1720s, the Grade II listed building was put up for sale for £375,000 in 2013.

After it was sold to Donelan Trading Ltd of Wilpshire, the company applied for permission to convert the pub into five holiday lets and a cafe, which included demolition of certain parts of the building and the erection of an extension, as well as a pitch for 20 static caravans.

This was rejected by Ribble Valley Borough Council in 2016.

Lancashire Telegraph: Images of The Punch Bowl from the heritage statement

However, a second application was lodged in 2018 for a similar development but this time with a ‘pitch holiday lodge park with 15 units’.

This was approved with the conditions by the council in the same year.

In 2019, Donelan’s applied to the council for an unsafe roof to be removed and replaced with new truss and slate roof, as well as removal of defective render to assess the quality of stonework beneath, but this was refused by the council.

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