The owners of a city pub didn’t know they’d need planning permission in order to renovate the site.

The Raven in Droitwich Road has been closed since 2019 and was derelict when it was taken on by new owners Good Host Group Ltd in May 2023.

Work has since got underway to open the Raven as a gastropub in August.

This includes the installation of a first floor in the old double-height play barn area and the creation of 12 guest bedrooms, plus four staff bedrooms.

WORK: New dormer windows have been fitted at the pubWORK: New dormer windows have been fitted at the pub (Image: Cross and Craig Associates)

Planning documents submitted to Worcester City Council describe the work undertaken as a “total refurbishment of the building to bring it back into use.”

“The work was largely internal and so the applicants did not appreciate the need for planning approval,” say architects Cross and Craig Associates in a supporting statement.

“This has now been brought to their attention, and we are hereby applying retrospectively for the work that is being undertaken on their behalf.

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“The applicant has submitted a business proposal, explaining the long-term financial viability of The Raven Inn, and how these changes are needed to ensure the preservation of the building as a community facility.”

Part of the application is for a change of use, to include permission for overnight accommodation.

“A porch area has been added to the side to create a better fire escape route from the first floor for guests, and secondary access when the bar and restaurant are closed.

REFURB: A new first floor has been installed above the old play areaREFURB: A new first floor has been installed above the old play area (Image: Cross and Craig Associates)

“There is a metal fire escape staircase added to the rear. There are proposed changes to the external fenestration.

“There are no changes proposed to the parking or garden area.”

No changes to the pub’s car park are proposed, so it will retain its 110 parking spaces.

“There is no doubt that without changes being approved, The Raven Inn will remain closed,” the application states.

“The large empty building has attracted anti-social behaviour and had become an eyesore since its closure.

“Now, the applicants, the Good Host Group, have come forward to bring this building back to life. They have a wealth of experience in running pubs and restaurants, understanding how to make them viable.

“Their supporting evidence makes it clear that the future of The Raven Inn depends on the addition of the guest and staff rooms.”