Councillors back plans to restore Old Dalby pub to its former glory

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A company’s ambitions to restore an empty village pub to its former glory have been welcomed by Melton Council’s planning committee.

The Crown Inn at Old Dalby has been vacant for about the last 12 months but from the early 1980s it enjoyed about 20 years of success - according to ward councillor Joe Orson.

Mr Orson said the pub, on Debdale Hill, had fallen into decline since the early 2000s.

But now the Little Britain Pub Company is set to undertake a full refurbishment of the pub including the formation of a new rear pitched roof extension with porch, replacement folding windows and brick stall riser to the restaurant, a timber pergola structure with covered roof and a free-standing pitched-roofed ‘smoke house’ to the garden area which would be used for barbecues and outdoor activities.

The planning committee heard on Thursday that the company’s plans for the pub had gained a lot of support from villagers though some were concerned about the smoke house’s hours of use and impact of lighting on neighbouring properties.

Mr Orson said: “This application to bring the pub back to its former glory in Old Dalby is welcomed. It’s a well respected pub chain taking it on and, hopefully, it will be open in time for the August bank holiday Old Dalby Day.

“Conditions are vitally important to console near neighbours who are concerned about light and noise.”

Councillor Elaine Holmes added: “Having spent many happy hours there I hope the pub is going to be as successful as it used to be. Villages need pubs. A great facility it was and I’m sure it could be again.”

The committee unanimously approved the pub company’s planning application subject to conditions, including for the ‘smoke house’ not to serve food or drink between 11pm and 7am seven days a week and for no external lighting to be installed until a report had been submitted to the council and approved.