WORK has begun to demolish a derelict pub in the Spen Valley in order to build five homes on the site.

The Old Pack Horse Inn at Highmoor Lane in Hartshead Moor is in the process of being razed to the ground by local developer Adam Cook of Elite Habitat Ltd.

Once complete, which is expected to be by the end of next week, work will then begin to build new homes on the prominent site.

Planning permission for the scheme was approved by Kirklees Council planners earlier this year.

Mr Cook told the Telegraph & Argus that the building was in a state of disrepair when his company bought it, with water damage resulting in the floors having caved in after the roof had been stolen.

He said that the pub had been closed down for around three years now, adding that they initially wanted to convert it as they did with the Old Yew Tree pub which is now the company's office.

"It was too dilapidated and the pub company said it would have cost in excess of half a million to bring the building back into use."

He added that they eventually settled on demolition and constructing new homes, moving from a scheme for dorma bungalows to two storey homes after consultation with planners.

A report by planning officers states: "The application is for the erection of two storey detached houses each with integral garage and off street parking. the dwellings will provide three bedroom accommodation."

It adds: " The original submission was for the erection of five chalet bungalows which were considered at odds with the prevailing character of the area.

"Officers recommended that the agent reconsidered the approach to the site.

"Revised details were submitted to address concerns. As part of discussions, revisions were made to satisfy highway requirements."

It states that information supplied demonstrates that the premises are no longer required as a public house, adding: " The loss of the facility can be supported in this instance as there is an alternative provision to serve the local community.

"The New Pack Horse public house is located across the road and is a functioning establishment."

The report also adds that replacing the pub building with five homes actually "reduces the overall scale and concentration of mass on this corner location".

Access to each house will be taken from Highmoor Lane.