DEVELOPERS want to build five homes which they say will help fund the refurbishment of an historic rural county pub.

The proposals for land next to the New Inn in St Owen’s Cross includes the reordering of the pub’s car park to allow for a new vehicle access.

The pub’s fortunes had declined during recent years and it was closed following an unsuccessful period trading as The White Mughal, which served Indian cuisine.

But the 17th century grade II listed building’s new owners have since embarked on a comprehensive programme of repairs, refurbishment and alterations aimed at restoring it to its former glory.

They hope to open a high quality restaurant and pub with bedroom accommodation by next spring.

Architects working on the scheme say the project has required a ‘very significant capital expenditure’.

They say that the granting of planning permission for the proposed houses will contribute towards this investment and help its future financial viability.

Their plans include one four bedroom house, three three beds and one two bed.

Mark Haslam, spokesperson for Herefordshire Campaign for Real Ale said: “CAMRA welcomes the commitment from the owners to refurbish the pub and we wish them every success with their endeavours.

“However, we will be seeking safeguards with regards to a planning consent that protects the pub and links any development to the funding of the works.

“There would also need to consider any potential noise nuisance from the pub which could affect any future residents.

“We will be submitting our view to the planners.”

Residents have until December 5 to comment on the scheme.

Herefordshire Council planners are expected to consider the proposals by December 19.