How the Punch Bowl Inn looks one month since sentencing and an order to rebuild on April 8. Photo: Kelvin StuttardHow the Punch Bowl Inn looks one month since sentencing and an order to rebuild on April 8. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
How the Punch Bowl Inn looks one month since sentencing and an order to rebuild on April 8. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Punch Bowl: This is what the historic pub site looks like a year after owners were first told to rebuild it

A year after the Punch Bowl in Hurst Green was ordered to be rebuilt – and a month after an appeal was lost – here’s what the historic in looks like today.

The site, although cordoned off and with heavy machinery parked on it, is still little more than a pile of rubble following the illegal demolition in June 2021.

Last month, five people found guilty of illegally demolishing the early 18th pub with a fine totalling £69,075.

Simultaneously, an appeal by the owners of the Punch Bowl against an enforcement notice issued by Ribble Valley Borough Council compelling them to rebuild the building was lost – and now the clock is ticking because they have been ordered to rebuild within 12 months using original building materials.

Background

In April 2022, Ribble Valley Borough Council issued an enforcement order demanding the owner rebuild the historic property, parts of which dated back to the early 18th century.

The owners appealed, but now in March the enforcement notice was upheld by the Planning Inspectorate, which has said the building should be restored to its former state, including its external appearance and internal arrangements and floor plans and in the location shown on the original plans.

The inspectorate also made a full award of the council’s costs against the owners of the Punch Bowl Inn. The amount has not been made public.

Arguing against having to restore the building, Andrew Donelan told the planning inspector it woiuld not be possible because ”all the materials were destroyed and could not be reused”.

The inspector A A Phillips refuted this, saying: "Clearly, this is incorrect because at my site inspection I observed very large piles of stonework from the demolition on site. Some of this material may have been compromised through the careless demolition process, but there is insufficient evidence before me to conclude that this is actually the case.”