Dorchester’s historic King’s Arms pub will not reopen until later this year due to further planning hold-ups over converting the historic grade II* listed building.
The former hotel has been bought by a company with strong connections to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage, which plans an extensive and sensitive refurbishment into a gastro-pub.
However the original plans to refurbish the building in time for re-opening in 2017 fell apart after West Dorset planners took nearly seven months to agree the plans.
A further planning delay means refurbishment work will not now start until the spring.
The King’s Arms has been bought by the Somerset-based Stay Original (formerly the Draco Pub Company). The firm now owns five pubs, including the King’s Arms in High East Street. The other four are Timbrell’s Yard in Bradford-on-Avon, the White Hart in Somerton, the Swan in Wedmore, and the Grosvenor Arms in Shaftesbury.
Director Rob Greacen told the Voice last year he was disappointed the planning process was taking so long, and that the planning department appeared to be under-resourced.
Cllr Ian Gardner, West Dorset District Council’s executive portfolio holder for planning, said in a statement to the BBC that “circumstances outside of the control of the council”, including a change of architect and amendments to the scheme, had led to the additional delays.