Residents blast planning application that could 'protect pub's future'

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

The future: most residents argue the planning application won't benefit the pub (image: Google Maps)
The future: most residents argue the planning application won't benefit the pub (image: Google Maps)

Related tags Surrey Fleurets

A property developer that has submitted a planning application to build five homes in a pub's beer garden say it will "help protect the future of the pub" but nearby residents aren't so convinced.

Allois Properties (Ewhurst) Ltd has submitted a planning application to build five homes in the garden of the Bulls Head, The Street, Ewhurst, Surrey, the demolition of the pub's skittle alley, a new extension to the pub, together with other alterations, and the provision of a revised parking layout and pub garden.

The pub, which is listed as an asset of community value (ACV), would be remodelled internally, which includes a repositioned kitchen and outdoor kitchen yard, additional seating in a ground-floor extension and a covered outdoor seating area.

Plus, the five first-floor existing guest rooms will be remodelled to each have en-suite bathrooms. 

However, eight surrounding neighbours have objected to the proposal, with only one in support, concerned over the loss of what is descried as a "lovely" pub garden that is packed at weekends, and outbuildings used by the community.

"I object in the strongest terms to this proposals" wrote one nearby resident. "How attractive and desirable would such high-density housing to close to a public house really be? In addition, there would very likely be a deleterious effect on the surrounding properties. 

"The demolition of the function room and the demise of a spacious garden would rob the village of two valuable amenities in this attractive corner of Ewhurst."

Another wrote: "The pub will not flourish and will become unlivable without the function room and gardens. The applicants are not publicans and will be happy to run the pub down in order to developed further, thereby losing a valuable amenity to the village."

One neighbour told local news website Get Surrey​ that the application would be "catastrophic" if it were to be approved.

Modernisation needed

However, one resident has welcomed the idea of his local having a refurbishment.

He said: "If this means the pub will get a facelift I'm all for it, the garden is never full of pubgoers in the summer anyway, so not sure why there's all the fuss, let's get our pub updated!"

A previous application for four homes on the site was refused by Waverley Borough Council's planning committee in 2016.

Included as part of this refused planning application was a viability report from Savills that concluded the refurbishment of the pub would make a positive contribution to the success of the business, the planning documents stated.

Planning officers also commissioned their own report from specialists Fleurets to consider the findings. Fleurets also concluded the works would be positive and would "help protect the future of the pub and avoid the danger of falling into disrepair".

The decision for the application is set to take place in February.

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