DEVELOPERS are once again applying to turn an historic pub near Malvern into housing.

Thomas Hayes wants to convert the Cliffe Arms in Mathon, near Malvern, into two homes and build a detached property within the garden back in June last year.

But Herefordshire Council rejected the scheme because not enough evidence was provided to demonstrate the pub could not be made a viable business.

Planners also said at the time the loss of the community hub would not contribute to the social wellbeing and vitality of the village.

However, Mr Hayes has now submitted new plans to convert the site.

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Architects working on the scheme say the purpose of this repeat application is to overcome the previous reason for refusal.

These proposals are to convert the pub into two homes and build another house on the site.

Mathon Parish Council objected to the plans for the pub, recommending its refusal on August 6.

The Cliffe Arms has been closed since 2004 except for a brief period in 2010.

Sam Harte, chairman of Mathon Parish Council, said: “It is annoying and frustrating that the Cliffe Arms remains closed, despite there having been an offer on the table to buy it as a pub for most of those fifteen years and this offer is still active.

“This fact was one of nine separate reasons why the last application to convert the pub was refused by Herefordshire Council planners back in October 2019.

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"We now hope that people will make their views known once again.

"We are not going to give up on our village pub.”

The council’s objection also said: “In the objections, it is highlighted that the Cliffe Arms is a vital community asset and the only pub in the village.

"It’s continued closure has already had a negative impact on the local community. It has been closed for over fifteen years, but the strength of feeling to see it reopen has never diminished over that time: it has been a standing agenda item at parish council meetings, and a virtually identical planning application made last year resulted in over 100 local people and former pub-users objecting."

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Herefordshire Campaign for Real Ale spokesman Mark Haslam said: “We are surprised to see another application to convert the Cliffe Arms into a dwelling so soon after the last application was refused by Herefordshire Council planners on no less than nine separate grounds.

“The problem remains that the owner has steadfastly refused to sell the pub. We are confident that that will be their undoing just like it was the last time.

"It is not acceptable for people to convert pubs when there is a buyer, who seeks to run it as a pub business, interested, as is the case here.

"CAMRA will be sending a detailed report covering these matters to the planners in due course.”