Spread Eagle Hotel: Hilltop pub/restaurant’s plans for outdoor terrace with stunning views of Ribble Valley brought down to earth

A stunning village pub/restaurant on the route of the Lancashire Way has been refused permission to build an outdoor terrace after neighbours objected.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 3:45 pm

The owners of the Spread Eagle Hotel in Mellor wanted to increase the size of the venue's outside seating area to take advantage of spectacular views across the Ribble Valley.

Council planners have thrown out the idea saying it would detract from the rural location and impact residents living close by.

The decision comes just four months after the hilltop Spread Eagle was given council permission to open an outdoor bar at the rear of the premises.

The Spread Eagle at Mellor.

But now officers say extending the outdoor seating area with a large terrace to accommodate an extra 118 diners and drinkers is "unacceptable."

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What does the local parish council say?

Mellor Parish Council objected to the plans on traffic, parking and light pollution grounds. It said they would "restrict residents' rights to privacy and lack of disturbance in their own homes and gardens".

The Spread Eagle has superb views of the Ribble Valley.

The Spread Eagle only reopened in April after a major refurbishment. That included a new timber pergola and conversion of an existing shed into an external bar servery with cellar.

The latest proposed addition to the outside area was to have been a terrace adjacent to the car park which would have looked out over the rolling countryside of the Ribble Valley.

Why do residents object to the scheme?

But residents lodged objections saying an extra 23 tables with 118 seats was too intrusive in such a rural location.

The pub/restaurant only reopened four months ago after a major refurb.

One said the proposal would have "a very negative impact on the iconic landscape which is enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.

"The Spread Eagle has been a heritage asset which has been serving the county for over 100 years and I do not feel the proposed extension would benefit the local community."

Another complained: "Significant additional outside seating and associated noise will entirely extinguish the tranquil atmosphere at this semi-rural location.

"The Spread Eagle is sited in a stunning vantage point, positioned on the popular walking route The Lancashire Way. The panoramic view from the hilltop encompasses Pendle Hill all the way to the southern fells of the Lake District and, as it currently stands, can be enjoyed by all local and visitors to the Ribble Valley.

"Given the exposed position of the pub, lights from the seating area and bar would be seen from the A59 and across the Ribble Valley - the proposal consequently represents a significant light spill that will detriment not just the village of Mellor, but also neighbouring settlements that look towards Mellor from across the valley, such as Ribchester, Longridge, Hurst Green and Clitheroe."

What is the view of planning officers?

After considering the case planning officers decided to refuse the application.

In a report they said: "The proposal will likely result in detrimental impact upon nearby residents' amenity, particularly in the evening hours, by virtue of an increase in noise and disturbance.

"It is considered that the proposal would result in the introduction of an anomalous, discordant and unsympathetic form of development that would be of significant detriment of the character and visual amenities of the defined open countryside and immediate area."