ANSWERS are wanted after unauthorised works were carried out at a historic Herefordshire hotel.

The Talbot Hotel in Leominster which has, until recently, been used to house asylum seekers, dates back in parts to the 17th century and is grade II listed. 

The characterful hotel has exposed beams throughout many of its rooms, but now answers have been demanded after a retrospective application for listed building consent was submitted for interior works to be carried out.


The application is for the installation of a permanent support under an overhead beam in the function room, documents submitted to Herefordshire Council said.

A design and access statement accompanying the application said the installation of three permanent metal structural posts was necessary to support two cracked beams.

The posts, which the statement said would be enclosed behind plasterboard walls, replace two temporary props and have already been installed ahead of consent being granted

But a historic buildings officer has called a number of details in the application into question, including that floor plans submitted in the applicant's heritage statement are for a building called the Mount Inn in Chester, not the Talbot Hotel in Leominster.

The officer also asked why metal support posts have been installed instead of reinstating timber posts that were previously supporting the ceiling beams, and what the orange and grey materials shown in pictures of the work submitted with the application are.

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"Impervious modern materials such as concrete/cement or expanding foam are not permitted for use in listed buildings as they have been proven to damage the historic fabric," the response said.

Questions were also raised as to whether the work has been finished or whether gaps in the plasterboard surrounding the posts will be finished off.

The officer further said that the application had been incorrectly described, and that the description should be amended to read "retention of unauthorised works".

Leominster Town Council said in a comment submitted to Herefordshire Council that is their wish that the building is brought back into use "as soon as possible", but that the historic buildings officer's queries need to be satisfactorily answered before they could agree with the application.