Planning permission denied for Russell Brand pub conversion
Comedian Russell Brand’s planning application to convert an historic Oxfordshire pub into a podcast recording studio has been rejected.
Brand bought the 800-year-old Crown Inn, based in the village of Pishill, near Henley-upon-Thames, in 2020 for a reported £850,000.
Having sat unopened and unused since the purchase, in November last year the pub crept back onto the village’s radar as Brand submitted plans to the council to convert the property into a space for podcast recording and “associated digital media production” requirements.
Brand’s application also claimed that a barn on the property would be used for “community functions and events”.
However, South Oxfordshire District Council has ruled that in transforming the historic pub in such a manner, Brand would in fact be depriving villagers of “an essential community facility.”
Adrian Duffield, head of planning for the council, told the Henley Standard: “This application has failed to demonstrate an acceptable replacement for the lost facility or that the facility is no longer required and is no longer economically viable.”
Duffield added that the application failed to prove that the proposed development would not harm protected trees on the site or cause noise disturbances to neighbours.
Around 50 villagers had objected to the plans to change the 17th Century pub, with one local resident saying: “It appears that the current owners have bought a public house, made no effort to run it as such and now declare it not viable.”
Brand has also been accused of leaving the site “in a mess”, strewn with traffic cones and ‘No parking’ signs.
It’s not the first time Brand has come under fire for his plans relating to the pub. As db reported, in 2022 he sparked fury by hinting that he planned to turn the pub into a vegan restaurant.