MORE enforcement calls have been issued as fears rise for a derelict Herefordshire hotel.

The historic Royal Oak hotel, at the junction of Leominster's South Street and Etnam Street, has been closed for a number of years.

The three-storey Royal Oak is a Grade II-listed coaching inn thought to date from the late 18th century.

But while empty, the hotel has suffered storm damage, vandalism and general neglect, despite Jai Rai, of Rai Fashions in Madley, receiving for listed building consent to carry out repairs including to the roof and windows, to rebuild a chimney, and to fix storm damage in 2022.


And now draft minutes from Leominster Town Council's planning and highways committee April meeting reveal that Councillor Jenny Bartlett has written to the corporate director for economy and environment at Herefordshire Council to ask that they serve a repairs notice on the owner under section 48 of the Planning (listed buildings and conservation areas) Act 1990. 

These notices can be issued if a local planning authority considers that a listed building is not being properly preserved, and where "protracted failure by an owner to keep a listed building in reasonable repair places the building at risk".

The minutes said it was noted that a local authority can also carry out the remedial work itself and claim the money back from the landowner.

It was resolved that the clerk writes to Herefordshire Council again about the condition of the building and to support Coun Bartlett's proposals.

It was also resolved that committee chair Coun Jacqui Herschy write to Herefordshire Council to request that enforcement action is taken on the owner of the Royal Oak Hotel.

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Herefordshire Council leader Jonathan Lester previously said enforcement action will be taken if clear timescales for works at the hotel are not forthcoming, with North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin joining calls for enforcement action to be taken.

“The Royal Oak is too important for tourism and the look and feel of Leominster to be allowed to crumble," said Sir Bill Wiggin in March.

"We need the hotel back in business to help support the tourism sector and I am delighted that Coun Lester is insisting on more inspections by building control to help get the building back in action.

“I fully support Coun Lester’s stance and I hope that the threat of enforcement action will finally bring about the change we all want to see.