Flats plan for top of landmark pub

Work taking place at the Dog Inn, Market Place, Longridge

Work taking place at the Dog Inn, Market Place, Longridge

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Plans to transform the upper storey of a landmark Longridge pub into five flats have been lodged with Ribble Valley Council.

New owner of the The Dog Inn Ben Lee has submitted an application to redevelop two floors of the historic inn, in a bid to secure the future of the popular town centre premises.

Pub-goers have so far welcomed the major renovation of the Market Place building and plans to preserve the pub, which has had a chequered history.

Work has been taking place since last year to re-open the Dog Inn, as a pub; with the proposed change of use from a restaurant to a public house included in the application

Local campaigner Mark Smith who set-up the ‘Save the Dog Inn in Longridge’ Facebook page said: “I am over the moon with what has happened to one of Longridge’s most historic pubs The Dog Inn.

“I am very pleased that I started the Facebook campaign page and brought it to the publics attention.

“Ben Lee and his team have worked wonders on the building, we are all looking forward to the grand opening.”

The plans, for consideration by Ribble Valley planning officials are to convert the first and second floor of the Dog Inn into five one-bedroom apartments with a shared access at the ground floor.

Proposals also include a provision in the rear garden for parking for residents and staff for what will become the pub downstairs.

The opening of the pub will create new jobs for the local area, with vacancies for a manager, chef, kitchen and bar staff.

Mr Lee said he was committed to making the pub viable again for the Longridge community but the apartments were a vital part of the project.

He said the plan, if given the green light by planner, would be to rent the flats as short or long term holiday lets.

He added: “The pub has to be sustainable to warrant its’ status - at the minute it is just too big.

“This plan is all about trying to keep the pub alive for the Longridge community.

“We have given it a 100 per cent refurb - not just a lick of paint - the building’s state of repair means it needs this investment. The value from the flats can be put into the pub.”

Planning agent Joshua Hellawell of PWA Planning, based in Preston, representing Mr Lee said they were at early stages of the planning process but added the application put forward was ‘entirely sensible.’

He said: “There is a real opportunity to secure the future of this ‘focal building’”

Mr Lee added he hoped the pub would be open for the Spring.

He said: “There will be nothing else like this in Longridge - we’re building a community pub for locals to enjoy a nice drink and good food - it will be low key but just what people want.”

Longridge Town Councillors last year had spoken out over their concerns surrounding parking and traffic issues should the pub be re-developed; they have been contacted about the latest plans and asked to submit their thoughts as part of the consultation by March 3.

Longridge businessman Mr Lee bought the pub in 2015 after the campaign launched by residents on social media to save it from closure.

The ‘Save the Dog Inn in Longridge’ Facebook page now has more than 1,000 followers.

The pub replaced the Old Dog Inn which was demolished in 1912.