A historic Herefordshire country pub has moved closer to reopening after permission was granted for a new pub car park.

Dating back to the 15th century, the grade II listed Crown Inn, Lea southeast of Ross-on-Wye closed two years ago.

MG & RA Savidge had proposals approved last August to revamp and extend the building itself in order to bring it back into use as a pub with restaurant and guest bedrooms.


And now their plan to extend parking at the pub, by converting a former orchard across the road, between the A40 through the village and Rock Lane, into a 30-space car park, has also been approved.

This was backed by Lea parish council, following an extraordinary meeting in November when 25 parishioners along with parish councillors gave the plan their unanimous support.

“In recent years the population of the village has increased significantly and it is considered highly desirable to have a viable village pub in business once again,” the parish council’s submission said.


But without the extra car parking, which would also benefit the village shop opposite, “both could suffer critical loss of potential business”, it warned.

There were nine further letters of support from the public, and two against.

Planning officer Laura Smith concluded that the car park “will significantly improve the current parking provision of a key community facility”.

She added that any environmental impact of the loss of the paddock would be mitigated by a requirement to plant new trees and hedging, and a condition preventing new outside lighting.