Plans to transform a former Hebden Bridge pub into a shop, restaurant, offices and residential flats have been granted by Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee.
Hebble House, Old Gate, Hebden Bridge, known previously as The Hole in the Wall public house, closed its doors in 2011.
Coun Janet Battye (Lib Dem, Calder) told the panel: “This is a substantial building in a key site in the middle of Hebden Bridge.
“The first choice for many local people, which I support, is that it be retained as a public house.
“I want to see it used and retained in public or community use if at all possible.
“In my opinion, any other use should only be possible once these uses have been fully tested and explored.”
During the meeting objector Steve Holland urged the panel to reject the application.
He said: “It’s a building that is close to hearts of many people in Hebden Bridge.
“There has been a pub on that site for more than 300 years and it’s a stopping point on several heritage trails and several walks, and I believe it should remain a public house.
“Public houses are a vital part of social cohesion, and to lose them should be a last resort.”
An agent speaking on behalf of the developer Mr M Green said: “We’ve looked at the points of objection and the main concern seems to be the loss of the pub as a community facility.
“The pub has been closed since 2011 and there has been no formal offers made on the building.”
Coun David Young (Lab, Calder) said he was disappointed with the committees decision to back the project.