The future of the Yorkshire Lass pub remains uncertain after plans to demolish it and build a three storey flat block were thrown out by Harrogate Borough Council.
The landmark pub sits which sits prominently at the entrance to Knaresborough has been empty since 2007 and was damaged by fire in 2010 and January 2013, with arson suspected on both occasions.
Councillors voted unanimously to refuse the application for a three storey block of 14 flats at a planning committee meeting on Tuesday (March 11) deciding the plans were not in keeping with the conservation area.
Coun Bill Hoult (Lib Dem, Knaresborough King James) criticized the designs for the modern block of flats with large windows.
He said : “The Yorkshire Lass is a land mark site and that plan is a land mark building for all the wrong reasons. No one can think that is suitable.”
Both Harrogate and Knaresborough Civic Societies objected to the plans and David Kaye, secretary of the Knaresborough Civic Society said: “The proposed design is strongly at odds with its surroundings. Any development in this sensitive location must be in keeping with nearby properties and the design of the proposed flats shows an alarming disregard for this neighbourhood.”
Allan Gould chairman and pubs officer for the Harrogate CAMRA (Campaign for real ale) branch said that more should be done to re-open the Yorkshrie Lass as a pub.
He said: “I do not believe in this case that substantive and serious efforts have been made to find a viable operator for this pub.”
Knaresborough resident Andrew Willoughby said: “I have known this pub all my life and it has been an asset to Knaresborough and I feel it could be once again.
“I feel we need a pub or restaurant or cafe to service the local community and the visitors who come to Knaresborough.”
Coun Anne Jones (Lib Dem, Knaresborough Scriven Park) has said that many people in Knaresborough still hope the pub could be re-opened.
“Many residents of Knaresborough considered the closure of the popular hostelry a great loss and there has been a long held hope that a similar business would rescue the facility.”
However council planning officer Jane Lurcuck said the pub had failed to attract a buyer willing to run the Yorkshire Lass as a pub, despite lowering it’s price from £775,00 to £595,000 in 2009 ant the only two offers the owners received both fell through.
She said: “It is an attractive building that is falling into disrepair.”
Coun Phil Ireland (Con, Knaresborough King James) said: “I am currently in favour of development on this site but I am not happy with the lack of affordable housing provision put forward in these plans.”
Planning agent Kathryn Jukes said she was ‘disappointed’ at the council’s refusal but could not say it the applicants would appeal or resubmit plans.
What do you think? Should the Yorkshire Lass reopen as a pub? Email Kna.News@ypn.co.uk.