‘Eyesore’ pub at centre of picturesque Lancashire village to be done up at last

Owners of an "eyesore" pub in a picturesque Lancashire village have been given the go-ahead to turn it into five homes.

By Brian Ellis
Friday, 27th May 2022, 12:38 pm

And house-proud residents living nearby are delighted the derelict Talbot Hotel in Chipping, which has stood empty and forlorn for the past 18 years, will finally be done up.

Ribble Valley Council has approved plans to convert the Grade II Listed building into a family home and a separate holiday let.

Its ancient barn next door, also Grade II Listed, has got the go-ahead to be turned into three homes.

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The Talbot Hotel in Chipping has been empty for 18 years.

Both were built in the late 1700s and sit in the middle of the picture postcard village - designated as a conservation area and part of the Forest of Bowland Area of Natural Beauty.

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The village's parish council has welcomed the news saying the refurbishment would "improve the visual amenity of the area and prevent further deterioration of the buildings."

And archaeologists at County Hall say the improvement plans would not have a significant impact on the historic assets "when balanced against the advantage of bringing the buildings back into economic use."

The Talbot's historic barn will also be redeveloped.

A report submitted to the Ribble Valley planning committee said: "In general the hotel has seen signs of water ingress and timber decay, with some internal ceilings partially collapsed and a partial collapse and missing slate to the rear roof."

It adds that there is an "excessive bulge to the right-hand gable wall which raises some concerns. The rear wall also shows signs of distortion along its length where stonework has eroded."

The Talbot could date back to 1739. It was originally known as the Dog Inn, then it became the Talbot Inn and then the Talbot Hotel in the 1880s.

Plans to refurbish the pub to create a bistro restaurant with function suite were approved in January 2013, but the scheme never went ahead.

The latest application asked permission to demolish a 19th century flat roofed section and a 20th century pitched roof addition at the rear to create extra parking for the new homes.

Villagers feel the two buildings have been an ugly scar in the centre of one of Lancashire's quaintest hamlets since the pub shut its doors in 2004.

A report to the council says: "Given that the site has remained vacant and in an unkempt state for an extended period of time, securing a viable use within the buildings would offer significant environmental benefits for the community together with the general visual amenity of the village."

One villager said the buildings should be converted so it could become “a better asset to the village instead of the eyesore it has become over the years."

Another added: "Being a pub again is probably commercially and financially unviable. I feel that something needs to be done with the Talbot, be that as a B&B or a few houses.

"Currently it’s a blot on the picturesque village."

In the planning report, consultants said conversion of the pub to residential “is the only logical alternative when its recent history is taken into account.

"No viable commercial uses have been secured for the barn up to now and that unfortunate position will likely remain indefinitely."