Former High Ercall pub owners ordered to re-open or leave

The owners of a former village pub in High Ercall have been ordered to re-open it or vacate the premises by a planning inspector.

The Cleveland Arms pictured before it ceased trading in January 2016. Photo: Google Street View
The Cleveland Arms pictured before it ceased trading in January 2016. Photo: Google Street View

John Hickinbottom and Susan King have been given six months to re-instate the Cleveland Arms as a pub or vacate the premises.

The pub ceased trading in January 2016 but Mr Hickinbottom and Ms King have continued to reside in the property.

Telford & Wrekin Council says they have also carried out internal works including the removal of the bar and most of the ground floor interior.

The pub is listed as an Asset of Community Value and its loss is considered contrary to the policies of the Telford and Wrekin Local Plan.

An enforcement notice regarding the unauthorised change of use from public house to a residential dwelling was served on 2 March this year.

Mr Hickinbottom, Ms King and John Charles Homes Ltd appealed against the enforcement notice but this appeal was dismissed on 7 December 2018.

They now have six months to cease using the property as a house and leave or alternatively re-instate the property as a pub, at which point they could live in the first floor living area.

The decision by the planning inspectorate follows the dismissal of a planning appeal earlier in the year when planning permission was refused for the reconfiguration of the pub to a public house with dwellings.

Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Housing, said: “I am pleased that the planning inspector has backed the council’s stance – namely that the pub has shut and been internally gutted so in planning terms is no longer a pub.

“The Cleveland Arms was the only pub in High Ercall and was listed as an Asset of Community Value. It was not in the best interests of the village for it to close as a pub and this contravened the policies of the Telford and Wrekin Local Plan.”