MORE support has been thrown behind a farmer and businessman's bid to reopen a dilapidated Herefordshire pub.

The Royal George in Lyonshall, near Kington, has been closed for years – but owner Kinsey Hern still wants it back open after buying it eight years ago.

The catch is though that he's struggling to build 42 homes at the site, which would help fund the works needed for the pub to reopen, due to the phosphates housebuilding ban currently in force.


Lyonshall Parish Council members met with Mr Hern after a public meeting in the village.

That public meeting saw locals support Mr Hern's plans, which would see the pub reopen with a bar, restaurant, shop, post office and cinema.

Reporting back to a full council meeting, as shown in minutes, Lyonshall's parish councillors said Mr Hern was looking for ways that he could be supported. And after discussion at that meeting, councillors agreed to push MP Bill Wiggin for help.

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The meeting, attended by councillors Steve Futcher and Kate Lomax, as well as the clerk Rebecca Bissell, discussed how challenges with Herefordshire Council's planning team with the housing developments on Webbs Meadow was holding things back.

But Coun Futcher said that planning issues can only be agreed with Herefordshire Council, and not the parish council.

The meeting also discussed how there were delays and changes with the Herefordshire Council wetland credit projects and complications with the administration hierarchy for developers.

That scheme aims to overcome the housebuilding ban in the river Lugg catchment as a result of high phosphates, but some credits had now been released to the pub's plan.


Mr Hern also told councillors that if he has his phosphate scheme approved he could complete the next four houses and, after taxes and costs, he would spend received monies on the George.

This would provide roofing, steel framing, wall repairs and finishing the basement, which should only leave interior works to be completed.

At a full council meeting in January, councillors agreed to write to North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin to encourage further support in finding a solution to the phosphate issue for all developers in Lyonshall parish who are still unable to complete projects.