New lease of life for former village pub

The former New Inn at Wray.
The former New Inn at Wray.

An 18th-century pub in a Lune Valley village is to be given a new lease of life.

The New Inn, in Hornby Road in Wray, closed in October 2012 and has remained empty ever since.

The search for a new owner who would continue to run it as a pub has proved fruitless despite sustained marketing.

Now the inn – which is Grade II listed – is to be transformed into residential accommodation which will conserve the appearance of the building.

Lancaster City Council granted planning permission and listed building consent earlier this month to current owner Character Properties, who have owned the New Inn since 2008.

The pub will be converted into three terraced houses, one two-bedroom and two three-bedroom. All window openings will be retained, and a balcony and stairs will be installed at the rear of the existing attached cottage.

Matthew Wyatt, of Lancaster-based planning consultants JWPC, said: “We were delighted to be able to help our client gain permission for the careful restoration and conversion of this important building in the village of Wray.

“The inn had been empty for some time and despite the owner’s best efforts to market it as a pub or restaurant, no one wished to take it on. Left empty, buildings quickly deteriorate and it would have been extremely sad to see a heritage asset such as the New Inn become an eyesore.

“Permission for new family housing will not only secure the future of this landmark building but will make a positive contribution to the vitality of village life as a whole.”

Each of the new homes will have its own private garden, and parking will be provided in the former inn car park across the road.

The New Inn dates back to 1775 and the original owner was Francis C Smith who, with his wife Catherine, had six children recorded in the Melling parish register.