Issue - meetings
20/501090/FULL - Clothworkers Arms, Lower Road, Sutton Valence, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 3BL
371 20/501090/FULL - CHANGE OF USE FROM CLASS A4 (DRINKING ESTABLISHMENT) TO CLASS C3 (RESIDENTIAL) AND ERECTION OF TWO STOREY REAR EXTENSION - CLOTHWORKERS ARMS, LOWER ROAD, SUTTON VALENCE, MAIDSTONE, KENT PDF 391 KB
The Committee considered the report of the Head of Planning and Development.
In presenting the application, the Development Manager submitted details of an objection which had been submitted by a local resident living at Motto Cottage, Lower Road, Sutton Valence after the publication of the agenda for the meeting. It was noted that the objector had expressed concern that:
· Although it is not a listed building, the Clothworkers Arms is a lovely building with stunning views in the middle of a Conservation Area. It is a much-loved pub which, as recently as 2018, appeared on the Shepherd Neame website as a welcoming hostelry in their portfolio.
· The purpose of the Conservation Area is to preserve and enhance the character of the area and the development of this site would severely damage this aim.
· The pub was closed by Shepherd Neame without consultation. They considered it to be unviable. The objector did not consider this to be the case stating that previous landlords had made the pub unviable by employing copious numbers of staff. The last tenant considered the pub to be viable. This was because he was prepared to work behind the bar himself. He had negotiated a deal known as “tenant at will” which meant that he could purchase beer and wine at the best prices he could get. Previous landlords were tied to buying their stock from Shepherd Neame.
· Shepherd Neame had not tried to sell the pub as a going concern.
· Specific objections as a near neighbour related to (a) overlooking from the proposed two-storey extension with roof terrace and windows to be set into the eastern flank of the building and (b) the lack of parking as all parking is on the street.
The Chairman read out statements on behalf of Councillor Poulter, Chairman of Sutton Valence Parish Council, and Mr Milliken, agent for the applicant.
Contrary to the recommendation of the Head of Planning and Development, the Committee agreed to refuse permission. In making this decision, Members considered that in the absence of a full marketing campaign it has not been satisfactorily demonstrated that the Public House is financially unviable. As such, the proposals result in the loss of a valued community facility contrary to policies SP11, SP15, DM17 and DM20 of the adopted Maidstone Borough Local Plan which seeks to protect community facilities.
RESOLVED: That permission be refused for the following reason:
In the absence of a full marketing campaign it has not been satisfactorily demonstrated that the Public House is financially unviable. As such, the proposals result in the loss of a valued community facility contrary to policies SP11, SP15, DM17 and DM20 of the adopted Maidstone Borough Local Plan which seeks to protect community facilities.
Voting: 10 – For 0 – Against 0 – Abstentions
Note: As Councillor Eves had not been present for all of the discussion on this application, he did not participate in the voting.