The Everley eventually finds a buyer but will it remain a hotel?

131201a 'Scenesetter-The Everley Hotel'Picture by Neil Silk'18/03/13

131201a 'Scenesetter-The Everley Hotel'Picture by Neil Silk'18/03/13

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The village pub industry in Scarborough’s surrounding countryside is facing another loss as plans are in place for a transformation at the Everley Hotel.

The Hackness based hotel, previously favoured by locals as a convenient watering hole, has been closed for two years.

New owners are now in place, however a planning application, to be considered by the North York Moors National Park planning authority tomorrow, reveals an overhaul of the hotel and bar is on the cards.

Owners David Harrison and Michael Field have applied to change the use of the property. They want to turn the public house and license premises, with restaurant, letting room, holiday cottage and living accommodation, into a tea room.

The application, which looks to keep the living accommodation and holiday cottage, is for a period of two years.

Five letters of objection have been submitted to the authority against the proposals.

Jane Duffy, of Silpho, wrote to say: “The Everley Hotel was, until its closure, a vital meeting place and focal point for the communities of Hackness, Wrench Green, Silpho and Suffield. There is no other Public House in this area and the loss of these premises as a public house will severely affect the social and community life of these villages.”

Craig Gaskell, of Hackness, said: “The Everley is the only public house in the area and has traditionally been important both as a hub for the community and to support tourism in the National Park. It is a very well known establishment with a lot of history. It would be of great concern if it ceased to be a licensed premises, even on a temporary base.”

However the authority’s director of planning Chris France is recommending officers approve the application tomorrow.

Mr France said: “The Everley served the needs of both local residents and tourist alike with its bar/lounge, restaurant, letting bedrooms and holiday cottage. To some extent therefore the change of use could be argued to result in the loss of a community facility yet the proposal could equally be considered to secure an ongoing tourism facility.

“There are a number of other community and tourism facilities in the locality that would fulfil the role once played by the Everley Country Hotel. For example Hackness Village Hall could be used for meetings of local clubs and Hackness Grange Hotel for functions. The operators of the proposed tea room might also be willing to continue to meet this need for an evening meeting venue.

“While it is regrettable that the Everley Country Hotel has been closed for two years, it has been actively marketed for at least eighteen months with no success in finding a new owner to operate it. The proposed change of use will provide a new tourism development.

“Members might also have regard to the fact the application is for a temporary change for two years to see if the tea room business is viable.”

The Everley joins the Blacksmiths Arms, in Cayton, which is also facing a transformation away from licensed premises. The public house is the subject of a planning application submitted to Scarborough Council to turn the property into two residential homes.