A derelict Ribble Valley pub, once reputed to be haunted, is set to be converted to holiday homes.
Permission has been granted for The Punch Bowl, a Grade II listed 18th century building on Longridge Road, Hurst Green, to be converted into five holiday lets and a cafe.
The project will include some demolition work and the building of extensions. Permission has also been granted to Donelan Trading Ltd of Whalley Road, Wilpshire to create a 15 unit static caravan holiday park on the site.
The Punchbowl site has had a turbulent history. Notorious highwaymen Dick Turpin and Ned King are reported to have stayed at the site and the ghost of ‘Old Ned’ is said to still roam the pub.
It has been vacant since 2012 and its condition has now deteriorated to the extent that access could not be gained to part of the premises for the Heritage Statement report submitted to Ribble Valley Council.
The property has also been subject to vandalism and is in a sorry state compared to its hey-day as a busy and popular restaurant.
Those consulted on the changes ranged from the Ancient Monuments Society and Victorian Society to the Lancashire Gardens Trust as well as local residents.
The Heritage Statement,submitted to the council, stressed: “Owing to the building’s designated heritage status care is needed to avoid harming the significance of the building in line with the requirements of planning law and policy.”
The statement by C.J. O’Flaherty notes the pub’s roots can be traced back to a row of three single cottages built in 1793. By 1844 the buildings were known as The Fenton Arms, in reference to Joseph Fenton who had purchased local manors of in 1831. By 1910 it had become known as the Punchbowl Inn.
A previous application to convert the pub and create 20 static holiday units was refused.