Pub becomes 'eyesore' in row over conversion

A ROW has erupted in a quiet Peak District village over the future of a historic pub which closed four years ago.

Ye Olde Bull's Head, in Little Hucklow, near Tideswell, dates back to the 12th century and is believed to be the fifth oldest boozer in Britain.

But almost four years ago it was closed by owners Peter and Julie Denton because it was "too small" to make any money.

Since then, their attempt to delicense the property so they can convert it for alternative use has been rejected by the Peak District National Park Authority, which wants it reopening as a pub.

The building has now fallen into disrepair, with residents branding it an "eyesore". The exterior walls are going green with mould, guttering is in poor condition, and villagers claim rubbish left on the site is attracting rats.

Several Little Hucklow residents have written to the Authority - and it is now considering legal action.

One resident - retired journalist and statistician Tony Greenfield - said: "It is crumbling, rotten, going green with mould, and is a home for rats.

"The infestation, the rubbish and junk, and the big and unfenced hole in the car park each pose a health hazard to all of us, especially to the village children."

A spokesman for the Peak District National Park Authority said: "We share the concerns of local people about Ye Olde Bull's Head.

"We have been negotiating with the landowner to get him to voluntarily improve the condition and appearance of the site and to stop storing materials and waste there. The landowner has so far failed to take action on site.

"We are now considering whether the case meets the legal conditions necessary to enable us to take enforcement action which would force the landowner to improve the condition of the land."

Mr Denton, who now lives with his wife at Hollow Meadows near Sheffield, said: "I think it's criminal for the pub to be shut but you can only put so much money in.

"We bought it in 1995 and my wife used to run it. It was a busy little pub but there were only seven tables.

"It's impossible to extend it and the only thing left is to convert it into a house. If I'd been a hill farmer I would have received a subsidy to keep going but I can't get help to run a historic pub.

"My wife even wrote to Prince Charles but nothing came of it."

Responding to concern over the state of the building, he added: "We don't want to spend money until we know what we are going to do with it."

Mr Denton's agent, Graeme Perry, said: "Ye Olde Bull's Head is just not big enough to make it a viable proposition. I have attended site meetings with the National Park Authority but they will not support any application to enlarge the area of the pub either externally or internally.

"I have therefore repeatedly asked them verbally and in writing to what alternative use can the building be put, given they will not allow any extension.

"That question has been put repeatedly over the past five years and again this year.

I have received no response."

Mr Perry added the couple had tried to sell the pub as a going concern but the sole person who made an offer backed out due to concerns over lack of potential passing trade.

What do you think? Add your comment below.

READ MORE

">Subscribe to The Star

Main news index

Your letters

Features

South Yorkshire's environmental news

Kids Zone

More business news

More Rotherham news

More Doncaster news

More Barnsley news

Latest sportREAD MORE

">Subscribe to The Star

Main news index

Your letters

Features

South Yorkshire's environmental news

Kids Zone

More business news

More Rotherham news

More Doncaster news

More Barnsley news

Latest sport