IHBC features ‘Heritage from the doorstep’: Cherwell DC on public concern over former Unicorn Hotel pub, Banbury

Cherwell District Council (DC) reports that it has obtained a warrant and entered the former Unicorn Hotel pub on Market Square in Banbury following failure of the owner to respond to requests for updates on their plans to protect the building.

Cherwell District Council writes:

Cherwell District Council obtained a warrant under the Planning Act 1990 to enter the Grade II listed building and assess its overall condition.

Officers from the council’s planning enforcement, conservation, and building control teams entered the property on Tuesday, 27 February. They found it is structurally sound and watertight despite being out of use since 2007.

The move to obtain the warrant came after the current owner failed to respond to the council’s requests for updates on their plans to protect the building.

Councillor Dan Sames, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Development, said: “Banbury’s historic buildings are a key part of the town’s identity. We are committed to protecting and conserving these special pieces of the district’s heritage.

“The Unicorn Hotel dates back to the 17th century and is thought to have been built around the time of the Civil War when Banbury was under siege and many buildings were destroyed. We appreciate the public concern over the sad fate of this important local landmark.

“I hope our findings are reassuring to anyone worried about the Unicorn. We will continue to engage with the current owner of the property over its long term future.”

The building is included on the National Heritage List for its architectural and historic interest. The council has also proposed entering it on the Historic England Buildings at Risk Register.

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