THE future of a village pub closed for more than a decade could finally be decided after plans to convert the building into housing have been put forward again.

The new proposals would see the former Pheasant Inn in Welland near Malvern converted into flats with a new extension built to house a restaurant and café, bar and function room.

The village pub has been vacant for 11 years and attempts to reopen the pub alongside new housing have been rejected by Malvern Hills District Council which has led to the new plan for a new restaurant, café and bar.

A statement included with the application by Greenaway Planning on behalf of James George said: “The change from the public house to the alternative business use proposed should be seen as a response to the impact of Covid-19 upon the economy.

“When considering the length of time that the public house has been closed, by providing a café/restaurant/bar, to include a function room, the business will be more flexible and open to a wider cross-section of society, for example including families with children.”

An existing extension would be demolished to make way for the new function room with the pub converted into three two-bed flats and new extension would also be built containing two two-bed flats.

New images also show an outdoor seating area for the new business and 26 car parking spaces – including five for the occupiers of the new homes.

A plan to convert the vacant building into homes and reopen the pub inside a new extension was controversially rejected by Malvern councillors in 2019.

The pub has been vacant since 2010 and has been the subject of numerous planning applications.

Councillors approved plans to build 14 homes on some of the land off the village’s Drake Street in 2017 – proposals that included the retention of the pub – which have now been built.

Villagers also expressed an interest in buying the pub to bring it back into community use in 2017.

The plans can be viewed via the planning section of Malvern Hills District Council’s website.

The application number is 21/01593/FUL and public consultation ends on October 8.