A SECOND application to convert a pub in Shipton Bellinger to homes has been rejected by the borough council.

The Boot Inn, located on the high street, said its final goodbye on July 31, 2022, after 26 years, and has since been the subject of two planning applications to convert the pub into homes.

The owners of the establishment, Lee and Sally Turland, submitted a proposal in 2023 to convert the pub into a house after failing to find a buyer during six months on the market.

Salisbury Journal: The Boot Inn in Shipton Bellinger.The previous plan also involved transforming an outbuilding into a separate residence and constructing two additional houses in the pub's back garden.

However, Test Valley Borough Council dismissed the proposal, arguing that the development would not align with the area's character and appearance, and it would result in the loss of a significant community asset.

A second application was subsequently submitted in November 2023, which was refused last month. 

The application submitted was also for the conversion and alteration of the former public house to create a residential dwelling, the conversion of an outbuilding to a dwelling and the erection of two residential dwellings, landscaping, and associated works.

The conversion of the main former pub building proposed a four-bedroom house, with various extensions being removed.

The former stable outbuilding was also proposed to be converted into a two-bed dwelling with no extension or modification. The building previously had permission to be converted into overnight accommodation, but the permission was not implemented and has since lapsed.

The large car park at the rear of the site is where the two new build dwellings are proposed, with accompanying gardens, landscaping and parking spaces, while the existing dilapidated garaging along the eastern boundary will be demolished.

The applicants stated that The Boot Inn was 'actively and extensively marketed' for at least six months from July 2022, but there were zero viewings or offers for the property, with the planning application stating this demonstrated there is no interest in keeping the facility for its existing use.

The application continued: "Though commercially viable, the loss of a community facility is inevitable with the rising cost of energy, goods and labour which make the business more demanding to run, and thus necessitates the consideration of an alternative if the future conservation of the asset is to be secured."

Borough council planners rejected the application, stating that the proposed conversion of the existing public house "would result in the loss of a community facility where insufficient information has been provided to demonstrate that it is no longer viable". 

The decision notice continued: "The proposed conversion of the existing public house has been identified as a non-designated heritage asset which is in the setting of several listed buildings, notably The Old School Room, Bramble Cottage and St Peter's Church and its associated boundary wall.

"The proposal would result in harm to the significance of the non-designated heritage and would also harm the significance of the setting of the identified listed buildings."