The Merry Harriers on Forches Corner, Clayhidon, is to be rebuilt.
Conditional planning permission has been granted by Taunton Deane Borough Council for a new pub to be erected on the site of the building which was destroyed by two fires in 2016 and then demolished in April this year.
In July 2016 the building was severely damaged by a blaze which was investigated as arson but a later fire on 20 December 2016 caused a complete collapse. At the time the landlord was Wesley Sneijder who acquired the lease from owner Reg Payne. Mr Sneijder had closed the pub without warning shortly before the first fire and then disappeared.
Reg Payne has submitted the application for the pub to be rebuilt. The new building will be on the site of the former 400 year-old pub but set back from the road “to allow for improved visibility for traffic leaving the site and also for traffic egressing from the east of the site and also help to screen the car parking to the west.”
Some outbuildings will be demolished to provide parking and the skittle alley is to be retained.
The pub is situated in the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A letter submitted to TDBC during the consultation process by Lisa Turner, Planning Officer for the Blackdown Hills AONB, said, “The location of the Merry Harriers makes it something of a ‘landmark building’ and therefore while the repositioning does not raise concerns the detailing and quality of finish will be key factors in ensuring that the new building and surroundings contribute to conserving and enhancing natural beauty and the special qualities of the area.”
The building is proposed to be constructed in render with a clay-tiled pitched roof.