The Red Lion at Soham - part of which dates back to the 17th century- could be turned into a restaurant.

PUBLISHED: 10:30 07 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:30 07 January 2016

Red Lion public house, Soham. Picture: Steve Williams.

Red Lion public house, Soham. Picture: Steve Williams.

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The Red Lion pub - part of which dates back to the 17th century- could be turned into a restaurant.

Red Lion public house, Soham. Picture: Steve Williams.Red Lion public house, Soham. Picture: Steve Williams.

Peter Leonard believes his plans to turn the historic Soham pub into a restaurant will safeguard the historic building’s future.

Mr Leonard has submitted a listed building consent application to East Cambridgeshire District Council to undertake complete restoration of the pub.

Mr Leonard says the aim is to‘re-configure’ the space to create a restaurant with modern toilet and kitchen facilities, function rooms and staff accommodation.

He says: “The aim of the project is to find a sustainable use for this important landmark building, as this will be the best way to safeguard its future.”

Consequently work to the outside of the building will be limited and will only be done using like for like materials. The courtyard, which is currently covered in tarmac and used as a smoking area, will be landscaped to provide an open green space.

Inside work will include exposing original features such as fireplaces and beams and to make better use of space and headroom - beamed ceilings in the oldest part which dates back to the early 17th century are very low.

Mr Leonard’s statement also says the work will ensure the pub, which was known as The Black Swan until the late 18th century, will be structurally sound.

“No original fabric will be removed, and no features will be lost. All repairs will be done with traditional lime based materials,” he says.

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