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Pub-goers united as room faces axe
VILLAGERS in West Malvern are presenting a united front against plans to demolish part of a pub which has lay shut for 18 months.
The function room of the Lamb Inn, a major part of the pub and its main facade on to West Malvern Road, looks set to be knocked down.
On Monday, West Malvern Parish Council voted unanimously against a planning application to create two twobed homes in the pub’s garden.
Bill Shearer, chairman of the parish council, said they will submit an objection to Malvern Hills District Council, which will decide the application, on the grounds of loss of amenity and a lack of parking.
“We just feel that it would be another amenity lost in the village – all the shops are gone – and anyone living down that end would have a long walk to the pub.
“We have just got to leave it to the planners and in their wisdom they will decide what’s the best outcome.”
The pub was bought 18 months ago by developer Peter Styles and has remained closed since then and two planning applications for partial or complete conversion of the premises into homes have already been turned down.
Andrew Boughton, of Mr Styles’ planning agents Boughton Butler, said planning permission is not needed to take down the function room, as it constitutes an alteration, and the Lamb is not listed or in a conservation area.
“That part of the building is not in good condition and it serves no purpose.
“I have heard a lot of people saying the pub would be viable as a business, but no one has come forward with a realistic business plan showing how it could be run.”
Mark Haslam, public affairs and campaign officer for CAMRA, questioned what attempts to sell the pub had been made.
He said: “We have always maintained under the current ownership the future of the pub is not viable and they have constantly refused to market it, kept it closed and won’t sell it on.
“If they are given planning permission then it will diminish its effectiveness and position as a public house. There won’t be enough pub left for people to run.”