Plans to convert an historic Yorkshire Dales pub into accommodation and a tearoom have provoked a series of objections, amid claims the venue is "part and parcel of local culture".

The Moorcock Inn at Garsdale, between Hawes and Sedbergh, has been a pub for centuries, but landlady Joanne Cox has now applied to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority for change of use consent.

In planning documents, Mrs Cox, who has run the business since 2016, said she wants to turn the bar into her personal living accommodation, the old manager’s flat into a licensed tearoom and keep the letting bedrooms to run as a bed and breakfast.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The Moorcock Inn

She says she wants to downsize after her children left the family home nearby, and also cites "falling trade in the public house business" as the reasons for the application. It has been submitted retrospectively, with the work starting in October.

Some comments backing the scheme have been lodged with National Park Authority, with one describing the application as a compromise "which could benefit everyone" and it would be "better to have the building used, rather than potentially lying empty for years and going to rack and ruin, like other historic buildings in Garsdale".

Darlington and Stockton Times: The Moorcock Inn, at Garsdale Picture: GOOGLE

However the majority of comments object to the proposal. One said: "The Moorcock has been part of the dale as an inn for many years. Until five years ago, it was regularly extremely busy. There is no reason why this couldn’t be a valuable enterprise again and for many in the dale it used to be a welcome retreat. This is an inn with a lot of history for a dale that has no other social hub for six-plus miles depending on where you live."

Another wrote: "The Moorcock has been a landmark hostelry for nearly three centuries, and as such represents a piece of local history that should not lightly be swept away. It is part and parcel of local culture. It serves both a scattered local community and the many walkers and other visitors. There is no need nor desire for a tea shop in this location. The atmosphere and services of the pub as it has traditionally been should be restored."

One objector described the pub as the "gathering point for all of the local farmers," while several pointed out the lack of any other public houses in the surrounding area.

Another added: "The loss to community would be harshly felt by the farming families who use the pub as a focal point. The Moorcock sits at in important junction of the A684 and B6259 Sedbergh and Kirkby Stephen roads to Hawes. It has been an important stopping point for many on the Pennine Way and converting to just a licensed tea room will not satisfy the needs of the community."

The application is pending consideration by the National Park Authority.