A planning inspector has added her voice to others who say the former Bishop Blaize pub still has a future.
Jane Miles this week dismissed a further attempt by Geoff and Jacqui Nouquet, of the renamed Bishop’s End, to discontinue the building’s purpose as a hostelry.
Since they bought the pub in 2006 and closed it a year later, the couple have battled Cherwell District Council’s refusal to give the house residential status. In recent months they have occupied the property despite regulations saying it must be trading to allow accommodation.
Inspector Ms Miles ruled after a public inquiry at Bodicote House where she heard the Noquets again maintain the pub could not make sufficient money to be viable.
In her report she said: “The main issue is whether the proposal accords with development plan and national policy relating to the loss of community facilities, principally whether the appeal property could be viable in the long term as a public house.”
She said the village’s own business plan for the pub was ‘a reasonable and viable alternative’. Ms Miles said the appeal must fail.
In a email to the Banbury Guardian, Mr Noquest said: “We’re confident we will eventually gain planning permission for change of use at some stage in the coming years.”