PLANS to refurbish a historic village pub have been given the green light after a community leader suggested it could cease trading unless the improvements moved forward.

Councillors in Wrexham met yesterday to discuss proposals to rejuvenate The Boat Inn at Erbistock.

The scheme put forward by the pub’s new co-owner Graham Price received the unanimous backing of Wrexham Council’s planning committee.

It came despite concerns being raised the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, which believes the plans could cause harm to the listed building.

Approval of the application could result in the restoration of a ferry crossing over the River Dee and will also see the creation of a new bar, kitchens and toilet block at the 17th century pub.

Meanwhile,  a number of outbuildings are set to be demolished and replaced.

Cllr John Pritchard, who represents the area the pub is in, said the property was in need of refurbishment to bring its facilities up to scratch.

He said: “I’ve got not reason to object it and I do feel that improvements need to be made.

“With the toilet facilities and disabled facilities, I feel it’s going back in time.

“Without the improvements it probably wouldn’t exist so as long as it’s done delicately with the conservation part then I don’t have a problem.”

The proposals were recommended for approval by the council’s chief planning officer.

In his report, Lawrence Isted said he was satisfied it would not cause harm to the listed building.

He added that the issues raised by the society had been considered in detail, but he believed the alterations to the pub were justified.

Speaking at the meeting, planning officer David Williams also gave the scheme his backing.

He said: “I think it’s important to say we have worked quite closely with the developers in respect of this application and they’ve taken an extremely sympathetic approach to the refurbishment.

“Those of you who know the public house will appreciate it’s quite ad hoc in the way it’s been developed over time.

“I think in this instance it’s that insignificant a change that it would not result in any substantial harm.”

A separate application relating to the redevelopment will be considered at a future date.