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Historic Ten Bells pub demolished without planning permission

By Alan Smith

An historic village pub has been knocked down without planning permission.

The Ten Bells pub in Leeds was demolished by developers who only had planning permission to convert the Georgian building.

The pub in Upper Street has been closed for business since 2012. A number of planning applications had been sought for the building’s conversion, and permission was granted in March to transform it to two homes and build a further three in the grounds. Permission was also granted for the demolition of some extensions to the building.

The Ten Bells pub in Upper Street, Leeds, which has been demolished. Picture: Google
The Ten Bells pub in Upper Street, Leeds, which has been demolished. Picture: Google

But over Easter the owners have entirely demolished the building, saying it had become structurally unsound.

A spokesman for Maidstone Borough Council said: “An enforcement investigation is ongoing with regard to the demolition, and the applicant and agent have been made aware that a retrospective planning application should be submitted for the demolition and suitable reconstruction of the building.

“That application is expected in due course and will be subject to statutory public consultation.

“The agent has explained that the building was demolished for health and safety reasons as it was at risk of collapse.”

The move has taken villagers by surprise and aroused resentment at the loss of what many regarded as a village landmark.

The pub falls within a Conservation Area, meaning planning permission should have been obtained before demolition.

The Ten Bells pub was named after the 10 bells in the church tower of St Nicholas Church nearby.

Upper Street has been closed since November after a sink hole appeared in the road. Traffic has been barred from the street since then.

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