Councillors to rule on plan to convert former pub into house

The King William IV pub in Fenstanton. Picture: GOOGLE

The King William IV pub in Fenstanton. Picture: GOOGLE - Credit: Archant

Villagers have called for an historic pub to be registered as an asset of community value and formed a group with the aim of buying the building which is set to be converted into a house.

Fenstanton Parish Council says the Grade II-listed King William IV is crucial to community life and should be retained as a public house.

Planners at Huntingdonshire District Council are recommending that the conversion, by Tristar Local Properties Ltd, should be given the go-ahead at a meeting of the development management panel tonight (Monday).

The pub pulled its last pint on Good Friday, April 10, after the owners, who bought the building in October last year, concluded there was not enough trade.

Planners said there were two other pubs within close proximity to the King William, the principle of conversion was acceptable and, that although the loss of the pub was "unfortunate", attempts to market the property had been unsuccessful.

They said that the then owner Greene King had decided to sell the pub because it was no longer viable and that the present owner had bought the building with a view to converting it into a house.

Planners said the move could strengthen the customer base at the remaining two pubs.

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They concluded that the closure of the pub had a negative impact on the social history of the village and was harmful to both the character of the listed building and the conservation area, but the harm was considered to be "less than substantial".

The King Willian IV dates back to the 17th century and was formerly an inn and 18th century cottage.

An objection by the parish council said the pub should be retained: "We believe that there is a reasonable prospect that the pub can be retained. Greene King decided to sell the pub and installed temporary management and the pub ran down."

It added: "Support from the community was shown at the parish council meeting which took place on February 12 and a community group is being formed to approach the current owners in an attempt to purchase the property and then to continued to run it as a public house."

The parish has applied to the district to have the pub registered as an asset of community value.