A VACANT country pub which couldn't attract a buyer - even though it went on the market for £1 - could be turned into a home.

The owners of the Nags Head Tavern, in Ash Road, Thornfalcon, have applied for change of use planning permission.

The Wellington Pub Company proposes removing the bar/servery and partition to form a bedroom; demolishing a single storey rear extension housing WCs; converting the existing kitchen to accommodation; linking to the adjoining outbuilding to create en-suites; removing of and new partitions within the single storey wing to create living accommodation; and taking down and installing new partitions at first floor to enlarge bedroom spaces.

The premises, sitting in an acre of land, would contain three bedrooms on the first floor and a further two on the ground floor.

The wing would be utilised for living space and would be fitted with a new kitchen and WC.

The pub has been closed and boarded up since January 2019

In a submission to council planners, the applicant's agent says: "We understand that the property’s location is a hindrance to trade, with very little local custom.

"We are told that trade is quite seasonal and despite trying to capitalise on the summer months (notwithstanding periods of inclement weather) when the large garden could be used, this is not enough to sustain the premises over the remainder of the year.

"Furthermore, the tenants endeavoured to improve turnover by offering more food, resulting in the property becoming more of a restaurant and destination type venue in an attempt to drive business.

"Regrettably and despite their efforts, the tenants closed the property in January 2019 and the property has remained closed since due to the declining trade over the last few years."

Attempts to sell the Nags Head on failed, even after the lease became available for £1.

At the time, the tenant told the County Gazette: "I had to close for financial reasons.

"We lost a sizeable six-figure sum.

"It's a country pub in the middle of nowhere and you're reliant on people coming in for food. You don't get drinkers in.

"People are being more careful when they go out and trade wasn't the level it once was."

Ruishton and Thornfalcon Parish Council at one stage announced it was a potential bidder and designated the property as an Asset of Community Value, although it later pulled out.