PLANS to partially demolish part of a popular pub and shrink its beer garden to build three new houses have been denied by Somerset Council.

Red Oak Taverns, who own the Cheddar Valley Inn, in Wells, applied in January to erect two three-bedroom dwellings on the site of the existing ancillary building, with associated landscaping and parking spaces, whilst retaining the existing public house.

Although the pub building itself was set to be unaffected by the development, the beer garden would reduce in size, as well as the car park if plans were approved.

In a document outlining the council's reasons for refusing the plans, a total of eight grounds for refusal were listed.

Firstly, Somerset Council stated there was insufficient evidence given by the applicant to show that the new development would not impact on current operations at the Cheddar Valley Inn. The planning officer wrote: "The planning application proposal would potentially result in the unnecessary loss of a valued community facility and service."

Read more: Plans to demolish part of Somerset pub and shrink beer garden in place of new houses

The council also believe the proposed development would not contribute positively to the local context, due to 'cramped siting, layout, tree loss and insufficient planting' which represents overdevelopment.

The pub's beer garden was listed as another reason for refusal, as Somerset Council believe it would 'result in unacceptable levels of amenity for future occupiers of the development.'

Other grounds for the refusal of the plans included:

  • The applicant failed to demonstrate the presence or otherwise of protected species within the outbuilding proposed to be demolished.
  • Insufficient information was submitted to assess whether the proposal would result in biodiversity net gain.
  • The proposed development has the potential to adversely affect the integrity of the Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar site by adding to the concentration of phosphates in an area where they are already excessive.
  • The proposal failed to demonstrate that the proposed residential access, parking, and turning arrangements would result in an acceptable effect in terms of highway safety and amenity.
  • There was insufficient information to conclude that the application proposals would deliver a sustainable form of development in that there is no proposed mitigation in terms of resource efficiency and low carbon initiatives.

For further information on the plans and the council's reasons for refusal, search reference number 2023/2351/FUL on Somerset Council's online planning portal.