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Royal Oak, Mosborough, Sheffield

A retrospective application (ie. its already happened) to demolish a pub South of Sheffield:

What an egregious way to manipulate the planning system. Tear down a local pub knowing that the law states you need permission for this and then ask for it retrospectively. What can they do? Say no and tell you to rebuild the thing? I highly doubt it.

It means a lot to see the high volume of public comments on the application, also exasperated with this criminal activity. A resident notes that the pub closed during lockdown, and this is grounds for it being described as an unviable business. There was a pandemic I seem to remember.

I would love to see the swines being made to build it back, brick by brick, to specifications set out by a heritage professional. And if their business goes under so be it. You broke the law and you deserve it.

That won’t happen. Despite the public ire the planning officer will want to avoid an appeal and the developer will get their 6 houses built out before the end of 2022.

Was it a pub? Victoria Lodge, Thorne

Application to demolish a house in Doncaster district, which suspiciously looks like an old pub:

In my humble opinion, Thorne is one of Yorkshire’s best-kept secrets. A medieval market town outside of any national park or AONB, it is a paint job and a sourdough specialist away from being Thirsk. Yet even Doncastatrians are at a loss to point it out on a map.

This building is not magnificent, and as far as I can tell was the lodgings for those using the neighboring (former) Victoria Inn, now an Indian restaurant. Whether or not the Victoria Lodge operated independently as a pub is not known to me, and will likely be a secret only the people of Thorne know.

A lovely building in an old part of town, its loss is needless as the development site to the rear is clearly already accessible.

Shown in red on the historical map from circa 1900, no indication that it was a pub at this stage.

Cross Keys Pub, Spalding Moor

Last pub in the village of Spalding Moor near Hull to be lost:

This received permission last year, and it looks like the demolition is going ahead very soon.

It is always a shame to lose a pub, but when its the only pub, that is tragic. What a boring place this will now be. Moreover, this pub sits on the cross roads in the centre of the village. Its a landmark building. It is the focal point of the settlement. Urban design is not a new science anymore. We know the damage that this type of development and demolition does to a community. There are so many ways a planning officer could refuse this development based on local policy. I know this because I am a planning officer, and there is always a way to make the right thing happen.

Hare and Hounds pub, Bradford

Another former Bradford pub to be demolished:

Three pubs have gone into Bradford’s planning system for demolition in August, the other two being 20th century the Generous Pioneer in Burley and The Newby Square on Old Lane (shown below).

This pub in the middle of Eccleshill in Bradford shut a while ago, leaving behind its twin over the road, The Malt Kiln. As I’ve argued many times, the sum of two pubs is far greater than its parts. Two to three pubs is a destination people will travel to.

This is a very attractive Victorian pub with some quirky Bradfordian features. The bay window to the flank provides a natural landmark feature to the junction on which it resides. The extended element with a reverse mono-pitch also adds interest to the street scene. These incidental quirks do not exist in modern buildings.

The application makes no mention of its use as public house, and refers to the ‘demolition and reconstruction’ of the building. The plans show a dull hipped roof box, typical of the urban edge. In design terms, this would be another step backwards by Bradford Council and yet another piece of its stone history lost.

The two other pubs on their way this month. Interestingly, Green King’s The Generous Pioneer (below) is in fact a relatviely new building. A lot of effort went into a historically sensitive building. What a waste to flatten it.

Sutton Arms pub, Stockton

Pub, demolished without planning permission in Elton:

This pub only closed its doors last September, amidst the moratorium on the hospitality industry. Yet the application has argued that the building was marketed unsuccessfully and that a pub in this location is unviable. Disgracefully, the owners knocked the pub down, in hope that retrospective planning permission will be granted.

The reaction from the residents of Elton is testament to how much this institution meant. Comments have poured in, urging the council to lay down the law and demand the pub is rebuilt brick by brick. This happened in London, so why not Stockton?

A village is left bereft of a place to gather. The building is by no means ancient, having been built in 1900. Yet the half-timbered first floor, bold chimneys, and adjacent phone box create a mise en scene that worthy of every effort to retain. These places can not be found anywhere else in the world.

Sun Inn, Skirlaugh

Second application to knock down historic village pub in East Yorkshire:

An application to clear this site was submitted last year and thrown out on the grounds that the pub is tantamount to a community facility, in spite of it being closed for a number of years.

A brilliant (and rare) determination that responded to the concerns of the villagers and the social fabric of the village. Yet the developer is going in for a second pass, with an application that still involves the wholesale loss of the 200 year old pub.

Social capital aside, the pub adds a lot to the genius loci of the village centre, extending the building line of the village core up Church Lane. And a village the size of Skirlaugh needs two pubs.

Lets hope East Riding development control throw it out again.

The Sun Inn, shown on a map circa 1900 to the North of the village centre.

The Travellers Inn, Attercliffe, Sheffield

Unique pub in Sheffield torn down:

This pub, which dates back to around 1780 (although the existing building looks much more recent) has been empty now for 10 years, and internally has been destroyed by vandals.

Sadly, this industrial corridor of Sheffield has lost many of the dozens of pubs that would refresh the working class daytime population.

The frontage, part arts and crafts, part art deco, baffles me. I have not seen a pub look like this before. Yet it is not the architectural merit that makes its loss lamentable. As ever, the loss of a pub symbolises our decreasing demand for the company of other people.

ARLFC Club, Drighlington

Application for the demolition of a former pub, and replacement with 5 dwellings in Leeds:

The Village of Adwalton, contiguous with Drighlington was once home to 5 pubs and a club. One pub, the New Inn, now remains, with the Rugby Clubhouse pictured above no longer in use. This is a very sad statistic. The population has bloated in the villages, yet public life has diminished.

This site is described by the architects as being ‘semi-derelict hardstanding’. Otherise known as a pub carpark. No mention is made of the cluster of Victorian stone buildings that make up this modest yet charming pub. Furthmore, this site is on top of a hill, and is visible from miles around. This building should be considered as part of a wider heritage landscape between Leeds and Bradford that is being slowly denuded of character.

As with most of these pub car park developments, the loss of the building is unessessary, and tantamount to laziness on the part of the developer. A good architect could integrate the pub into a commercially feasible development, perhaps even extending and enhancing the building line seen above, to improve the cohesive geometry of the village centre.

That is what builders used to do for hundreds of years. Development was an opportunity to make places.

Victoria Hotel, South Bank, Middlesbrough

Demolition of a pub in the suburb of South Bank, Middlesbrough:

Looks like I’ll be too late to object to the loss of this beautiful pub and stable building, as the original application went in back in 2019.

This is one of three ornate Victorian buildings that together constituted the high street of South Bank; an industrial suburb of Middlesbrough economically harried for the last century, but was once a paragon of northern civic pride.

It is always worth reiterating that such fine civic architecture is such an important reminder of the aspirant nature of our Victorian city builders. This architecture was a statement that was meant to last a thousand years.

Not only will the locals have lost their pub, but they will have another hole where once a reminder of their sense of place stood.

Brew and Brisket pub, York

Circa 1900 pub to be lost near Clifton Moor:

A lovely example an important typology from this era; The Roudhouse Pub.

The applicant is looking to demolish the building, put up a prefab unit and create a service yard for a car wash. Im no entrepeneur, but surely it would be cheaper to keep the building as the business premises? You could even lease out some of it as office space.

The pub doesn’t occupy a central position within the plot, being tucked away in a corner, so its not as if the configation on the site precludes its use a car valetting facility. Even the heritage statement accepts that the history of the site needs to be further reseach before the building is touched by the wrecking ball. Thats as close as we’ll ever get to a plea for retention from a comissioned heritage expert.

These pubs are vital robust public buildings, and slowly they will come back to life in a post-covid world. It is difficult to appreciate from the image, but the brickwork now demonstrates a centenial spalling, after 100 years of life and love. Clean your car by all means, but only when you’ve got enough spare cash after going to the pub.