A PUB in rural Herefordshire has been given the go-ahead to carry out a major refurbishment, despite some resistance from locals.

The Castlefields in Clifford, near Hay-on-Wye, told Herefordshire Council that it wanted to improve facilities, saying new jobs should be created.

Applicants Ian and Carol Birch said the work would include improved Covid-19 resilience, a restaurant, tourist accommodation and a function facility for weddings, as well as relocating the managers' accommodation for more bed and breakfast rooms.


Herefordshire Council granted planning permission, with conditions, and Mr Birch said the work would start at the beginning of October.

The car park is also set to be expanded from 25 to 59 spaces.

During the consultation process, three local residents objected to plans, with one voicing their support.

Christopher Bates, who runs the Smithy B&B nearby, said he had supported the Castlefield, but he had concerns that the dynamic would change from a local pub to a function facility.

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He also had fears over the traffic such events would bring the narrow B4352, and an increase in light pollution. Another local, Andrew Craven, objected on the basis of noise and light pollution.

David Venables also objected, saying the pub was near a "treacherous bend" in the road. He had concerns over noise and light pollution's impact on the natural habitat and felt very strongly about the integrity of the landscape.

Ben James, of Dorstone, praised the pub's owners for their "huge commitments to the property, business and local community". Herefordshire Council's planners are yet to consider the plans.

Mr Birch also said that construction traffic would be using the existing tarmac car park which should prevent mud on the road, which connects the A465 near Hereford to Hardwicke, near Hay-on-Wye.

He said reclaimed bricks to the same level as the existing building would be used, with a metal insulated roof and wooden cladding.


There will be four lodges in the grounds of the pub for tourists, as well as the new managers' home with two bedrooms.

A new extension housing a function room is also set to be built, as well as a bridal dressing room.

On its website, the 16th-century former coach house said it has already undergone a high-quality refurbishment prior to these plans.

The independent free house also said it is a family-run business, serving great British pub classics and also has a popular carvery. It also offers an "excellent" selection of beers, real ales, wines and spirits.