Closed Northumberland pub the Black Bull Inn at Bowsden set to be demolished to make way for homes

Plans have been lodged for two new homes on the site of a former north Northumberland pub, which has been closed for more than 20 years.

Monday, 5th August 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th August 2019, 6:27 pm
The former Black Bull Inn at Bowsden. Picture from Google Streetview

An application has been submitted to Northumberland County Council to demolish the Black Bull Inn, at Bowsden, about six miles south of Berwick, and build two four/five-bedroom houses on the site.

The Black Bull closed in September 1997 and has not been used as a pub since then, although the landlord has continued to live in the property.

It is proposed to replace the building with two one-and-three-quarter-storey, detached properties, with each using one of the existing entrances to the site – one from the minor public road to the west and the other directly off Main Street.

A planning statement accompanying explains that the Black Bull is right next to the road edge.

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The proposed L-shaped houses would be situated slightly further into the plot like the surrounding properties, which are all set slightly back from the road to allow for front gardens and driveways.

The development would also introduce landscaping within the site and between the two homes, whereas currently there is no greenery on the site, with the property ‘very exposed to the main road and mostly characterised as tarmac/gravel’.

A couple of years after the pub closed, two separate applications were approved which resulted in a similar scheme to what’s being proposed now; one was to convert the pub into a home, while the other was to demolish the outbuildings and put a house in their place.

The planning statement acknowledges that these plans caused concern among local residents at the time, however, this was due to the loss of a community facility, which this site hasn’t provided now for 22 years.

Even then, it was noted that the pub had been struggling for a number of years and there was little interest when it was put on the market after it closed.

‘The view was taken that it was better for the property to have a purpose that would be sustainable for the community than to refuse and not have the confidence the property would be used as a public house again,’ the statement adds.