PROPOSALS to turn an historic county pub into houses have been rejected by planners.

Thomas Hayes had submitted plans to convert the Cliffe Arms in Mathon, near Malvern, into two homes and build a detached property within the garden.

But Herefordshire Council has rejected the scheme because not enough evidence was provided to demonstrate the pub could not be made a viable business.

Planners also said the loss of the community hub would not contribute to the social wellbeing and vitality of the village.

Herefordshire Campaign for Real Ale spokesman Mark Haslam said: “The owners of the Cliffe Arms have made no effort to either market it for sale or lease it to a new operator, and have also turned down a number of offers for the premises as a pub.”