Stonham Parva: Plans for 25-bedroom hotel are turned down

THE new owners of a well-known Suffolk pub on the A140 have been told they cannot build a motel at the site.

The plans for a 25-room motel at Stonham Parva’s Magpie Inn, famous for its arched wooden Magpie sign that crosses over the busy A140 road through Suffolk, and a footbridge crossing a duckpond at the property had been submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council.

Separate applications submitted by owner Joe Bahar contained proposals for a complex of holiday cottages and a further property to accommodate a hotel manager.

The 10 holiday log cabins were given the green light but the council’s planning committee found the proposals for the hotel, footbridge and manager’s cottage would have an adverse impact on both the existing pub – a Grade II*-listed building – and the surrounding countryside.

In a planning decision notice, they said: “The proposal, as a result of its height, bulk, design and activity associated with the use, would, if permitted, cause significant harm to the setting of the Magpie Inn, a Grade II*-listed building, and such harm is not outweighed in this instance by demonstrated wider social, economic and environmental benefits.”

In a design and access statement, Mr Bahar’s agent Phil Cobbold said the changes would help ensure the pub reopens and becomes a “sustainable and viable enterprise”, benefiting the community.

He said: “This proposal can bring significant benefits to the local economy and, for these reasons, tourism-related development in rural areas finds wide support from both national and local planning policies.

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“The land is a greenfield site which forms part of the pub grounds and has previously been used as a beer garden and children’s play area.

“The Magpie public house is a Grade II*-listed building. It is currently closed and vacant and has not traded for many months.”

Mr Cobbold was unavailable for comment last night.