INVESTMENT projects in three local pubs have been put on hold.

Wetherspoon has stopped a planning application to expand the Royal Oak in Dorchester while Hall & Woodhouse has withdrawn its application for refurbishment proposals at the Ship Inn on Weymouth quayside.

Wetherspoon also say that the planned refurbishment of the William Henry pub in Weymouth, already agreed with planners, is now ‘on hold’.

All of the premises are currently closed because of the Covid 19 lockdown measures.

Blandford-based brewers Hall and Woodhouse was asked to explain why they have withdrawn their Ship Inn proposals, but have not responded.

There is nothing to prevent any planning application being re-submitted at any time. Normally planning consent is given with a set time limit for the development to take place, generally within three years.

Wetherspoon had asked to convert an existing plant room building alongside the High West Street, Dorchester pub to expand the area available to customers and to make make changes to the outside seating area. It already had permission to convert some of the upstairs rooms to create nine bedrooms, but had not started work on that project.

A spokesman for the company said that the current plans, to expand at ground floor level, have been withdrawn while talks are held with planning officers to bring forward a comprehensive refurbishment scheme for the whole property.

The pub, parts of which date back to the late 18th, was previously run by Dorchester brewers, Eldridge Pope. Wetherspoon said in a planning statement that some, upper floors of the building are in a poor state of repair.

The spokesman also confirmed that the William Henry proposals are on hold for the time being.

The planning consent for that project, already approved apart from some minor changes, includes a refurbishment of the building, including new summer opening windows. Other changes involved removing the existing lower bar and replacing it with seating and installing a second short staircase to access the main bar area. The existing accessible lift for people with mobility limitations was also to be upgraded as part of the works and additional air conditioning installed.

The Ship Inn application included internal changes and a part refurbishment including a new first floor bar servery, together with a new sign on one side of the building.