New homes cast doubt over pub’s future

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Doubts were raised over whether a village pub will ever re-open as councillors approved plans to build two semi-detached homes next door to it.

Michael Holgate won consent for the development on land adjacent to the Royal Hotel, which has been closed for around two years, on Emesgate Lane.

But residents, speaking at a meeting of Lancaster City Council’s planning committee, said homes on the site would make it less likely that the village pub, also owned by Mr Holgate, would reopen.

Brian Barden, planning agent on behalf of Mr Holgate, told councillors that the two-house scheme had been designed to allow the hotel to continue and said its future would be decided ‘in due course.’

Some residents said the feared the pub itself could be converted into houing but planning officer Eleanor Huddleston said before this could happened, a separate planning application and proof efforts to market the Royal had been made would be required.