A PLAN to convert the Horse and Farrier on High Bentham’s Main Street into a single three-bedroom home has been approved by North Yorkshire Council.

Documents say the current pub building dates to the early 18th century although several alterations have been made since then.

A sign above the door suggests an inn could have stood on the site since 1661.

According to planning documents, the owner, Mr A Burns has been trying to sell the building as a pub since 2018 without success.

In a report published this week, a council officer described the owner’s marketing process as “flawed” due to its high asking price.

However, he concluded that even if it had been reduced the pub would have struggled to be sold.

The application received no objection from Bentham Town Council but received four objections from residents with one person lamenting the loss of the pub and its community atmosphere.   Advice given to the council by consultants at Heritage Hinchcliffe said the loss of a pub “will cause some harm to the social and economic life” of Bentham which is “regrettable.”

An environmental health officer recommended double glazing be installed due to traffic noise.

It’s estimated around 7,000 pubs have closed across the UK in the last 10 years with changing alcohol trends and high running costs blamed.

The Horse and Farrier’s closure has left Bentham with a handful of remaining pubs.

 A council officer wrote: “The current market is challenging for many pubs. This is particularly the case for independent pubs, and pubs in areas with smaller populations. At High Bentham, there is direct competition from The Black Bull and The Coach House which are both located within a short walk of the application site on Main Street. A third pub, the Sundial, at Low Bentham, is open at the end of the week and weekends.

“The scale of the settlement and the fact that it is already well served for pubs is considered a significant limiting factor on the viability of another pub within the settlement.”