An eye-catching Herefordshire country pub which closed four years ago could now become a home – if its new owners can gain permission.

The Herefordshire House Inn in Stanford Bishop near Bromyard, also known as The Pink Pub, had been trading at a loss for some time before it closed, according to the planning application put forward by the Phillips family.

Most of the pub’s trade had come from the nearby Malvern View caravan site, but when this opened its own Old Barnhouse restaurant and bar, approved in 2015, the Herefordshire House “became financially distressed”, the application says.


Before closing fully, it had been open for limited hours for some time and had been taking only around £1,000 a week in drinks sales.

The then owners, who had run the pub for over 20 years, then brought in a specialist firm to market it to potential buyers, but after 21 months this was unsuccessful, it explains.

It was then sold to the current owners through a local estate agent, by which time it was “in very poor condition” and had “major” water damage from leaking pipes.


The new owners hoped the high cost of addressing this could be used as grounds for a change of use, which are rarely granted to historic pubs without robust evidence.

Indeed a pre-application letter from the council’s senior planning officer Josh Bailey to Mrs Phillips in March last year said the building’s “general dilapidated condition does not preclude it from being fit to be used as a pub”.

County policy requires owners wanting to convert a pub to first market it as a community facility for at least a year and provide evidence of this, he said.

For this reason, he did not think there was enough evidence at that time to justify the loss of the “community facility”.

As the new owners set about renovating the property, now a less vivid colour, while living in a static caravan, they found it also had problems of rising damp and rats, their application explains.

Meanwhile their attempts to build an external roofed pergola to divert rainwater from the building was halted when a planning enforcement officer told them that this needed planning permission.

Comments on the planning application to convert the pub, numbered 233049, can be made until November 22.