A popular Herefordshire country pub has been told it must get permission for outdoor improvements it made over three years ago.

The Major’s Arms near Bishop’s Frome has applied to ensure the summerhouse and decking by its managers’ quarters can stay, along with decking in the beer garden to the rear of the pub, and two lighting columns installed in the car park.

The application has arisen out of what the application describes as “enforcement enquiries” last September by Herefordshire Council officers, who advised that a planning application to cover the improvements would be required.

This “has been in situation for in excess of three-and-a-half years, but only latterly drawn to the local authority’s attention”, a letter to the council from the pub’s agent says.


On ground sloping down to the north of the pub, the summerhouse and decking are “used by the applicants during their occasional nights off as an area to seek ‘refuge’ from the pub, as if they’re seen in the vicinity of the pub during opening hours, the reasonable assumption of their patrons is that they’re ‘on duty’,” it explains.

John Cattermole and Sharon Duffin took over the pub in 2018.

The couple “were of the mistaken belief that as a ‘domestic’ outbuilding, planning permission was not required” for the 2.5-metre-high summerhouse, the agent’s letter adds.

Comments on the application, numbered 224148, can be made until February 9.

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