The Railway Inn and the New Dolphin pub in Newbiggin, Northumberland will be demolished and replaced with a library, public toilets and residential flats.
Developers argued that the economic downturn meant the buildings were not viable as pubs and that the loss of the building would be outweighed by the benefits to the local community.
However, the plans sparked a petition which gained over 800 signatures and concerns from Historic England and the Victorian Society.
Conservation advisor James Hughes said: “Given the acknowledged importance of these buildings, their loss would be detrimental to the Conservation Area, and would erode its historic character and appearance. It is commendable that the Council should offer to contribute towards a new public library, especially at a time when many libraries up and down the country are being closed in response to increasingly squeezed local authority budgets. However, this is not the site for it.”
Local Janet Byrne argued in an objection submitted to Northumberland County Council: “The demolition of two historic buildings and being replaced by a modern unsympathetic building is a total disregard of the conservation area. The demolition will start a precedence for others to follow.”
Another argued that the development was ‘out of character’ for the local area.