Hopes to reopen and extend a Ribble Valley village pub in a conservation area surrounded by historic buildings appear to have progressed.

Councillors on Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Planning & Development Committee are being recommended to approve an amended plan for the Buck Inn at Grindleton, which was put up for sale in the summer 2019 and has been vacant for some time.

A planning application by DGB Trading for two-storey and single-storey extensions to the east and back of the inn, and conversion of first floor accommodation into four bedrooms was submitted to the borough council in the autumn.

That led to over 70 letters of support from people who were keen to see the pub back open again. The parish council also supported it although some worries were raised about car parking space and opening hours. Seven objections were received, with worries such as car parking and privacy of local homes.

In October, councillors looked at the first plan at the development committee meeting. They were sympathetic to the application but wanted further discussions about positioning the new extension a minimum two metres back. There were also concerns about architectural issues and features of the extension and the effect on the village’s character.

Following talks with agent Sunderland Peacock & Associates, acting for applicant DBG Trading, the borough council’s planning department has since been told that, due to the location of the pub cellar, the maximum set back for the new extension would need to be 1.3 metres.

Ribble Valley planning officers say that although this situation is not ideal, the benefits of reopening the pub make this acceptable. So they are now recommending approval of the altered plan with various conditions.

An agenda for this week’s planning committee meeting states: “The Buck Inn is a prominently sited 18th century public house which has been vacant for around three years within Grindleton Conservation Area. It fronts Sawley Road and is close to the juncture of Brow Top, Sawley Road and Main Street and within the immediate setting of the Duke of York Hotel, which is a Grade II listed. It is one of the very few non-listed buildings in Grindleton conservation area which the Conservation Studio consultants identify as making a positive contribution to the village’s character and appearance.”

Councillors on the planning committee will look at the amended application at their latest meeting on Thursday.

Also up for consideration is a plan for 36 homes, landscaping and infrastructure at Neddy Lane, Billington. The development would be a mix of four and three bedroom homes, bungalows plus affordable one bedroom apartments for rent,

This application was also looked at during a previous planning committee meeting but further details were asked for. Concerns had been raised previously by residents about loss of green field, not enough space in local schools or GP surgeries, flooding and poor access to Whalley Road.

As part of planning approval agreement known as a Section 106 agreement, Ribble Valley planning officers are recommending the developer be asked to contribute just over £19,000 towards recreational amenities elsewhere and £69,000 towards three local secondary school places.

Download the LancsLive app for free on iPhone here and Android here.

Have you got news for us? Contact our newsdesk on [email protected].

Get all the latest news, sport and what's on stories sent to your inbox daily with the LancsLive newsletter here.