Harpenden pub homes plan rejected

The Three Horseshoes pub.

The Three Horseshoes pub. - Credit: Archant

A bid to convert a former Grade II listed pub in the Green Belt into a five bedroomed house has fallen at the first hurdle.

St Albans councillors on the plans (north) committee refused the application for The Three Horseshoes on East Common, Harpenden, even though many local people felt it was no longer viable as a pub.

The Three Horseshoes was turned into a gastro-pub several years ago but finally closed its doors in 2012 despite several attempts to revive its fortunes.

The committee refused the application to demolish existing extensions to the building and put up new ones as part of its conversion into a house primarily because it is in the Green Belt.

They were also unhappy about the designs for the new extensions which they felt would add nothing to the appearance of a listed building or its position in the Harpenden conservation area.

The application attracted a number of objections including the radical change to the building’s appearance and the loss of a valuable community amenity but there were also letters in support of the application which mentioned its remote location and the disrepair into which the building was falling.

The most vocal opponent of the proposal Steve Gledhill said this week: “All residents of Harpenden should be absolutely delighted to learn that our wonderful country pub, with its magnificent rural garden, has been saved. We hope that this will be an end to the speculation and that no more plans to convert the pub into a house are submitted.”

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He pointed out that The Alford Arms in Frithsden, 10 miles from Harpenden and in a similar type of location, had been ranked number one this week in the “Best gastropub in Great Britain” survey by The Times.

He added: “This shows that given the right management and staff it is possible to excel. I hope for the best at The Three Horsehows and please no more mendacious carping about it not being viable.”