Passers by were astonished last June to drive past the long closed listed building in the morning and see it standing. By the evening it had been reduced to a pile of rubble.
No planning permission had been sought or granted for the demolition of the reputedly haunted pub on the outskirts of Hurst Green in the Ribble Valley.
At the time Councillor Alison Brown, chair of Ribble Valley Council’s planning committee, said: “It is very sad to see such an old building go - our officers are looking in to the matter.”
The council has now issued an enforcement order demanding the owner rebuild the historic property, parts of which dated back to the early 18th century. In turn an appeal has been made against the enforcement order.
A Ribble Valley Council spokesman said: “I can confirm that the owner of the Punch Bowl Inn has been served with an enforcement notice requiring the premises to be rebuilt.”
It’s the latest twist in the history of a site which has had had a colourful history.
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. In 2018 permission was granted for the 18th century building on Longridge Road to be converted into five holiday lets and a cafe.
The project was to include some demolition work and the building of extensions. At that time permission was also granted to Donelan Trading Ltd of Whalley Road, Wilpshire to create a 15 unit static caravan holiday park on the site.
The building has been the subject of numerous planning applications. In March 2020 permission was refused for an application by Donelan Trading Ltd to remove an unsafe roof and replace with a new truss and slate roof and remove defective building render to assess stonework underneath. In March this year the council refused approval for a reapplication by Donelan Trading Ltd for the 15 unit holiday park.