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Village eyesore pub to be bulldozed as housing plan approved
5:12pm Thursday 28th February 2013 in News
A PLAN to bulldoze a pub which has become an eyesore after standing in the heart of a village for 160 years has been approved.
Seven years after the Swaledale Arms, in Morton-on-Swale, near Northallerton, closed, developers Yorvik Homes have been given permission to transform what residents describe as “a stain on the village’s character” by building 12 homes on the site.
The development will include three two-bedroom, four three-bedroom and five four-bedroom homes, three of which will be affordable.
A Hambleton District Council planning committee meeting heard the only option to improve the village centre was to demolish the pub, which was formerly known as the Non Plus, after a racehorse.
An officers’ report said Network Rail had no objection to the plan in terms of protecting the nearby railway line, but had concerns over how close houses would be to the track.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “In a worst case scenario there could be trains running 24 hours a day and the soundproofing should take this into account.”
The report added Yorvik Homes had claimed to have marketed the pub as a going concern for a number of years without success, but that no evidence had been produced to support the claim.
The Campaign for Real Ale objected to the scheme and claimed the developers had not marketed the pub at a realistic price.
A campaign spokesman said: “Located as it is in a prominent location on the A684 close to the catchment area of Northallerton, Leeming, Bedale and the A1, there is no reason why the Swaledale Arms could not operate as a viable business with suitable imaginative operation and management.”
But councillors said the village was well served by amenities including another pub, the Old Royal George, a general store, a butcher’s shop and a school and did not need to retain the Swaledale Arms.
Ward member Brian Phillips said: “It’s bad for the image of Morton-on-Swale, it’s a complete eyesore.”
The meeting heard the parish council supported the brownfield site scheme, saying that “anything would be an improvement”.
Yorvik director Matthew Gath said the firm would look to start work on the development in the near future.