A former pub on the fringes of the Peak District could be turned into centre for holidaymakers, with a combination of bed and breakfast accommodation alongside camping facilities, after previous attempts to find new uses for the building failed.
But although the Stanhope Arms at Dunford Bridge is within the Penistone West area of Barnsley, it also falls with the Peak District National Park, meaning that authority must decide whether the new use is acceptable in the context of its surroundings.
Dunford Bridge is a small village best known for its position at the Barnsley side of the now disused Woodhead railway tunnel and the Stanhope Arms is an imposing building which fell out of use as a pub years ago.
The proposal is to change it from a pub to living accommodation, which would mean making some changes to the building and which would result in five bed and breakfast rooms, along with living accommodation for the owners.
Outside, camping pitches for tents and camper vans would be created, alongside ‘pods’ offering fixed accommodation for those visiting on camping style trips.
A new single storey cafe would be constructed, alongside a garage, stables and shower block, but the application by Greenspace Architects states those additions would be “subservient” to the main building and changes to that structure would be mainly internal.
Architects have told planners at the Peak Park Authority: “The massing of the proposals doesn’t alter the main historical building and extensions occupy existing footprints or infill redundant space between outbuildings, preventing sprawl.
“Alterations to the elevations of the existing building serve to improve their appearance, giving greater levels of balance and maintaining desirable proportions, which are already evident in the existing building.
“The loss of outbuildings and unsightly extensions and their replacement with well proportioned and holistically designed additions serve to enhance the overall appearance of the building. Additional soft landscaping and planting will improve the appearance of Dunford Bridge as a whole, given the prominent position of the site and its size.
“We consider The Stanhope Arms to have limited to no potential to meet no discernable need within the hamlet of Dunford Bridge.
“This public house has been unable to draw the kind of footfall required to sustain it as a going concern, despite efforts to expand its appeal. Alterations in the economic climate both nationally and locally have had a significant impact on the population of Dunford Bridge, reducing trade to a seasonal, unstable form.
“Development opportunities have not been in short supply and attempts to broaden the appeal of the establishment have also failed to render long term viability. Approval of the application would ensure the long-term future of the building, the protection of the openness of the greenbelt, and diversification of the housing mix within Dunford Bridge.”
Chairman of Dunford Parish Council, Allen Pestell, said he hoped the application was approved.
“Dunford Bridge is at the end of the Trans Pennine Trail, before it goes onto the road,” he said. “I would love to see a cafe. If the public came back, it would be a smashing place. I would push for this to be accepted.”
If approved, the development would also add to Barnsley’s ambitions to improve the tourism industry in the area.