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Planners say Duke of York in Gosberton Risegate should not demolished

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Plans to knock down an empty pub and replace it with houses look set to be turned down by councillors.

Members of the district council’s planning committee are being asked to allow the Duke of York in Gosberton Risegate to be demolished at their meeting on Wednesday night.

However, officers are recommending that they refuse the scheme because evidence has not been provided to suggest it cannot be a successful business again.

The Duke of York in Gosberton Risegate (57344469)
The Duke of York in Gosberton Risegate (57344469)

The pub has been closed since 2020 and plans submitted on behalf of Sue Goodenough suggest it would be ‘uneconomical’ to reopen.

Indicative plans suggest a terrace of four dwellings to the front and four detached houses to the rear of the Risegate Road site - but these details would be determined at a later date.

Coun Henry Bingham said: “I have concerns about the loss of this amenity to the village, once an amenity such as this is lost it is rarely replaced. Although Covid has put serious strain on public houses, as well as other businesses, I cannot see sufficient evidence to be able to support redevelopment of this public house.”

Fellow ward councillors Jane King and Simon Walsh said that any development must be in keeping with the area if the pub is no longer viable.

Ark Estate Agents said it did not think the pub could be sold, while accountancy company Bowers, Fleming and Co said they expect the Duke of York to have had a ‘significant loss’ for the year to February 2021.

However, the pub has not been put up for sale and financial records have not been provided to the council.

The county’s historic environment officer described the pub as a heritage asset, adding: “Although it is understood that the building has suffered a lack of maintenance and there have been some unsympathetic alterations in recent years it is clearly of traditional construction.

“It is understood that the inn is at least 200 years old and has contributed to the social history of the village during this period.”

Officers say the pub’s demolition would result in the loss of a facility - but pointed to the fact that the Black Horse remains open nearby.

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