The Fountain Inn, Ingbirchworth, Barnsley
Application to demolish a rural pub and build out 13 detached dwellings:
Ingbirchworth has doubled in size since the turn of the century. This is a questionable aspect of Barnsley Council’s growth strategy as Inbirchworth has no shop, no amenities, no train, and is 10 miles from a sizeable employment centre.
Dubious spatial planning aside, it also seems odd to grow a village and create demand for a pub, only to see it demolished. I know this pub very well, and it thrives. There is no question of its viability. It serves as the conclusion to a number of hiking routes, and the accommodation is almost always at capacity.
Without any doubt, this is a landowner wanting to simplify their liabilities and cash in on the high values of rural development rather than keep a pub on the books. The developer, Conroy Brook, has a history of heritage destruction in this part of Yorkshire, so any integration of the pub into the development would complicate their profit forecasting.
I’d guess around 10 jobs would be sacrificed with the loss of this business, along with various contracts with local businesses. Allowing this last public amenity in Ingbirchorth to be leveled is indefensible. A cluster of houses does not a village make.