OWNERS are reconsidering plans for the car park behind a Chaddesley Corbett pub after a planning application was refused.

A planning application to build an orangery within the former Talbot Inn pub and carry out improvement works to bring the Grade II listed building back into use was refused by Wyre Forest District Council's planning committee last week due to concerns about the reduction in parking spaces.

The plans would have seen the pub car park divided, cutting the number of parking spaces from 75 to 45, which prompted objections from local residents and the parish council over the potential increase in customers parking on the high street.

Speaking at a planning meeting on Tuesday, June 18, parish councillor David Thomas said: "Chaddesley Corbett Parish Council fully acknowledges the desirability of bringing a heritage asset back into use as a sustainable business, but objects most strongly to the subdivision of the site and loss of off-road parking this would cause.

"The supply of off-road parking in the village is finite. Once it's gone it's gone."

He added: "This would divide the Talbot's land for intentions not yet declared.

"The parish council has worked hard over the years to regulate off street parking and reduce congestion. This would see the village street become the Talbot's overflow car park.

"Some 75 spaces at the pub have historically been fully-used. The application therefore represents a 40 per cent reduction in car parking, while increasing customer facilities by adding five bedrooms for guests as well as an orangery."

Planning agent Mike Harris said it was a "rare sort of application" to reopen a village pub and create up to 20 new jobs.

He said the proposal had achieved the satisfaction of Worcestershire Highways and that the reduction in parking was partly due to spaces being made bigger.

But committee members shared concerns over the impact a smaller car park would have on congestion.

Cllr Fran Oborski said: "Anyone who seriously thinks a 60-cover restaurant plus five rooms can be opened with 45 car parking spaces is living in cloud cuckoo land.

"Those residential rooms are going to involve people travelling there by car."

Cllr Marcus Hart added: "It really is an issue of car parking. There is clearly a reduction of some substantial amount.

"Of course we hope that this becomes a very viable business but if all of those customers travelled by car there would be an unacceptable impact on highway safety."

Despite planners recommending the plans for approval, committee members voted unanimously to reject the proposal.

Speaking after the meeting, planning agents said they had taken the committee's views on board and were considering how to improve the plans before submitting another application in the next few weeks.