Officers reject plan to turn Marston’s Thorold Arms pub into house

The Thorold Arms in the centre of Marston.
The Thorold Arms in the centre of Marston.
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Permission to turn a village pub into a house has been refused by the planning authority which supports the retention of it as a community facility.

Villagers in Marston who have fought to keep the Thorold Arms as a pub and shop are pleased with the decision made by South Kesteven District Council.

They have been trying to save the pub since it closed in 2015, setting up a campaign group called ‘Save the Thorold Arms’. Their attempt to buy the building at auction for £160,000 was unsuccessful and it was purchased by Paul Barmby, sole director of Cape Designs Ltd, which owns a number of properties, including pubs, in Cornwall, Doncaster, Wigan, Liverpool and Blackpool.

An application was submitted to SKDC in December, seeking permission to convert the building into a five-bedroom house. On Tuesday, the proposal was rejected.

The decision notice made by Paul Thomas, SKDC’s executive manager for development and growth, stated: “The proposed change of use would lead to the loss of a public house and shop which is a community facility. No evidence has been submitted to demonstrate that the public house is no longer viable, that efforts have been made to secure the re-use of the building or to assess the impact the closure of the facilities would have on the community.

“There are also no alternative facilities available in the village.”

Villager Shirley Kelly told the Journal: “Well I’m really pleased, and hope that there can be a negotiation with the new owner to get the pub and shop re-opened.”