Publican 'bitterly disappointed' as holiday home plans refused

The Brewers Arms pub in Bower House Tye

The Brewers Arms pub in Bower House Tye - Credit: Mitch Marginson

A publican who applied for permission to build six holiday homes outside his south Suffolk watering hole has voiced his disappointment after plans were refused.

Brewers Arms publican Mitch Marginson applied for permission from Babergh District Council late last year, which would have seen the six single-storey homes and five holiday cabins built adjacent to the pub in Bower House Tye.

Mr Marginson said the scheme would help bring extra income streams to the pub in a bid to give a post-Covid boost, while the bungalows would provide housing for over-55s in the village looking to downsize.

Babergh District Council received 55 letters of support of the plans, although a petition with more than 500 signatures backing the plans was later invalidated. 

One objection letter was written to the council, while the council's heritage officer also objected to the plans – with concerns over proximity to two local listed buildings raised.

At a planning committee meeting, councillors argued the area lacked amenities needed for the residents, adding it would go against the Babergh core strategy.

Concerns were also raised over land ownership, with Mr Marginson not owning the adjacent plot.

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Mr Marginson said he was "disappointed" the community support was not enough to win over the council.

"I was really disappointed," he said. "Bitterly disappointed.

"It felt as if they had nothing positive to say about the development.

"We did all we could and thought we had a fair chance. The support from the community gave us the confidence, especially as some was from neighbours.

"It would have helped bring employment to the village and helped young people get in to work.

"It is just a shame these benefits haven't been recognised."

Mr Marginson said the pub will reopen later this month, but admitted it has been a hard time for the venue during the pandemic.

He added he will "weigh up" the options of returning to the plans.

He said: "The pub is absolutely a lifeline for the village, we are a community-centred pub.

"A lot of people live alone now and we're here to help boost the community spirit.

"Things have been hard as we're an eating pub, not a drinking pub – and this isn't the weather to be eating outside.

"It has cost us an awful lot of money to get to this point, so now it is just a case of weighing up the options and decide how to go forward."