A PUB in a village near Hereford wants new visitor accommodation as it tries to become profitable.

The Crown Inn in Woolhope, between Hereford and Ross-on-Wye, wants a new a two-bed building in the pub's garden.

The application for planning permission sent to Herefordshire Council said the building, to the back of the pub, would be for guests or staff.

Tompkins Thomas planning consultants said the pub, a vital and valued part of the village, made a significant investment during the coronavirus lockdowns when pubs were forced to close, concerting the first floor to guest accommodation.

This accommodation has provided an important revenue stream, the application said, and has pushed the business towards profitability.


The landlord of The Crown Inn, Matt Slocombe. Picture: Rob Davies

The landlord of The Crown Inn, Matt Slocombe. Picture: Rob Davies


The new two-bed building would also provide the ability to operate as staff lodgings, with the pub facing recruitment problems.

The application said that in order to attract long-term and quality staff, the pub needs to be able to offer live-in accommodation for management.

"The rural location makes attracting 'commuting' staff very difficult but if able to offer lodging for staff, the calibre of recruit would be higher," consultants said.

They added: "The applicants consider that this proposal demonstrates a clear business model than can secure the long term future of this rural business and is necessary as the country pub has to change quickly to suit the changing trading conditions.

"Owners' and managers' accommodation and smaller letting units are essential to the pub's future."

Plans show facing materials would be birch cladding under a flat, partially green, roof, with solar panels. Parking would provided in the existing car park, which will be extended.

Annalisa Slocombe has applied for planning permission from Herefordshire Council, with planners setting September 9 as a target date for a decision.