Demolition of listed Punch Bowl pub: Five to go on trial in Burnley in August

The five people charged in connection with the demolition of historic landmark former pub the Punch Bowl will go on trial at Burnley Magistrates Court in August.

By Fiona Finch
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 11:14 am

The Grade II listed building was reduced to rubble last June.

At a previous hearing at Blackburn Magistrates Court the five accused, Andrew Donelan, 60, Nicola Donelan, 58, and Rebecca Donelan, 28, all of Carr Hall, Whalley New Road, Wilpshire, Blackburn and Brian Ingleby, 69 and David Cotterell, 57, of Percliff Way, Philips Road, Blackburn, had pleaded not guilty to the charges put to them.

Andrew, Nicola and Rebecca Donelan and Brian Ingleby had been charged with executing the demolition of the building on Longridge Road, Hurst Green. Andrew Donelan, David Cotterell and Brian Ingleby had been charged with failing to notify the local authority of the intended demolition.

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The former Punch Bowl Inn at Hurst Green

Donelan Trading of Carr Hall and Percliff Plant and Haulage Ltd of Percliff Way had been charged with executing the demolition and failing to notify the local authority of its intended demolition. The cases were brought by Ribble Valley Borough Council.

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The five accused returned to Blackburn Magistrates Court yesterday for a case management hearing.

The court was told Andrew Donelan is a director of Donelan Trading and Nicola Donelan company secretary. Brian Ingleby and David Cotterell are directors of Percliff Plant and Haulage.

All that is left of the Punch Bowl today

District Judge Alex Boyd ordered that all must return to court at Burnley magistrates on August 31 for what is predicted to be a five day hearing. He granted the five unconditional bail.

Designated trial dates are August 31, September 1,2,5 and 7, with a case management pre-trial hearing at Burnley on August 4.

The pub, once a popular eating out venue, was renowned in its heyday not just for its food but for allegedly being haunted. Highwaymen Dick Turpin and Ned King were reported to have stayed at the site and the ghost of ‘Old Ned’ was reputed to roam the pub, which dates back to 1793.

The property has been vacant since 2012 and had fallen into disrepair. In 2018 permission was granted for the building to be converted into five holiday lets and a cafe and the creation of a 15 unit holiday park.

The Punch Bowl sign

In March Ribble Valley Council refused approval for a reapplication by Donelan Trading Ltd for a holiday park.