Owners who bulldozed ahistoric 18th-century northern pub have been fined nearly £70,000and ordered to rebuild it, brick by brick, within a year.
The Punch Bowl Inn on Longridge Road, Hurst Green, was bulldozed by Donelan Trading Ltd in June 2021, despite warnings from Ribble Valley Borough Council that to do so would be considered a criminal offense.
A trial last year at Burnley Magistrates’ Court found that Andrew Donelan, Nicola Donelan and Rebecca Donelan, David Cotterell, and Brian Ingleby unlawfully demolished the pub despite having been warned not to do so in advance by email.
The five people responsible were ordered to pay a total of £69,125 in damages today at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court, and inspectors have confirmed that they will also have to rebuild it in full within the space of 12 months.
The pub is rich in local history and is said to be haunted by the ghost of 1730’s fugitive highwayman Ned King, who reportedly fled Essex with a high price of his head and headed north – eventually arriving at the village of Hurst Green, between Longridge and Clitheroe.
A member of the infamous Essex Gang of robbers – most of whom had already been captured and hung at Tyburn Gallows for horse theft, deer poaching and highway robbery – he is thought to have travelled alongside Dick Turpin before ultimately meeting his demise.
The pub, built in the 1720s, was visited by the fugitive on several occassions, and local legend has it that landlord Jonathan Brisco became friends with Ned and tipped him off to which of the customers staying at the inn would make good marks.
Following a previous hearing at Burnely Magistrates Court, where a key witness, construction firm boss Gez Pegram, told the jury that there had been ‘no need’ to demolish the pub, District Judge Alex Boyd handed the group a total fine of £22,250, prosecution costs of £44,650 and a £2,225 surcharge.
The planning inspectorate also ordered that the council’s full costs must be repaid by the company.
The decision to demolish the pub was taken by Donelan Trading Ltd and a contractor after they grew tired of waiting for the council. Their defense team also claimed that the site had been targeted by arsonists and was falling into disrepair.
Whilst criminal proceedings were ongoing, the company was sent an order by local planning inspectors to rebuild the pub they then tried to appeal.
However, their appeal was rejected – leaving them responsible for putting the boozer back together as it once.
The order states that they will need to ensure that the internal and external of the building are in line with the plans attached to the notice. This means going through the rubble with experts and working out what can be salvaged for the rebuild.
Any materials that can’t be salvaged must be bought again and approved before their use to ensure they are as historically accurate as possible.
The Lawn Club closes temporarily after bar brawl at event leaves ‘trail of blood’ on floor
The Lawn Club has been temporarily instructed to close after a fight last weekend left a trail of blood on the floor outside.
The popular Spinningfields sun-trap bar has said that it’s cooperating fully with Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council while the incident is investigated.
A report from GMP said that ‘a large group of people’ were fighting at the city centre bar, one of whom reportedly was seen with a gun, which was thankfully not fired.
At 10.25pm on Sunday 4 June, North West Ambulance service reported that a male had been stabbed in the leg but ‘the knife was no longer in his leg and they didn’t know where it was’.
The victim got up and walked away, and has still not been traced.
The incident happened during an event that was organised by a third party promoter.
The Lawn Club provided CCTV footage to officers, which showed two males arguing before a third appeared with a black handgun.
A spokesperson for the venue said: “On Sunday 4th June, an incident occurred at The Lawn Club, the premises operated by Hardman Bars. This was during an event organised by a third party promoter.
“As a result of this incident, we have been instructed to close the premises temporarily. We also recognise and fully comply with the request by GMP and Manchester City Council, received at a hearing on 07.06.23, for a temporary suspension of our licence while the incident is investigated and reviewed in full.
“We are cooperating entirely with GMP and Manchester City Council to provide any information they require in relation to the incident.
“We’d like to reassure our customers and the community that this is an isolated incident. But nevertheless, the safety of our team, customers and the community is of the highest importance to us. As such, during this period of closure, we will be actively working with the authorities and relevant parties to review all policies and procedures in place at the premises.”