COUNCILLORS were left with no choice but to allow for a village pub to be changed into a funeral parlour.
The Wheel Inn at Findern has been bought by Burton based Murray’s Funeral Directors, leading to uproar from residents who do not want to see the death of the only pub in the village.
At a meeting of South Derbyshire District Council’s planning committee on Tuesday night, members agreed to issue a certificate for the change of use because, by law, that’s the only thing they could do as planning permission is not needed.
The council told residents they could not prevent it and a certificate for a lawful change of use was only put forward by Murray’s to show that the council agreed with what was said, rather than being a necessity.
The meeting was attended by a large number of residents.
Villager Phil Watts spoke at the start of the meeting.
He said the location was a ‘totally inappropriate place’ for a funeral parlour, adding “1,600 tax payers will not be able to attend a pub for a drink.”
Councillor Lisa Brown, vice chairman of the committee, said the ‘law is an ass’.
She said the council could possibly pass villagers’ views onto central government.
David Barke from Murray’s Funeral Directors said: “We have been surprised and saddened by some of the vitriolic and widely inaccurate comments made by a small number of individuals on the campaign’s Facebook page and in the media. However we have been heartened by the many messages of support sent to us privately from Findern residents.
“The previous tenants and villagers were aware that the site was up for sale since July last year.
“We can confirm that we are not in discussions with any other land owners.”