‘The bottom line is driving this’ - Developers criticised over attempts to remove historic Suffolk pub’s coach house
- Credit: Archant
A developer has faced heavy criticisms tactics after trying to remove a historic Suffolk coach house from its pub redevelopment proposals.
Framlingham Town Council had previously been in support of Hollins Architects’ housing plans for the Grade II listed White Horse pub in College Road.
The 16th century inn had been out of use since 2014 and was said to have become an “eyesore”. Hollins’ plans to create two homes in the pub and a further three in its grounds were welcomed in 2016 for restoring the building in a “sympathetic fashion”.
However, amendments seeking to remove the coach house and replace it with a structure of “similar appearance” has drawn opposition. While Hollins claims the building has seen significant portions replaced, meaning “total demolition will not result in the loss of significant historic fabric”, councillors took a different view.
David Beal said: “Just because it’s been restored in the past, they’re saying it can be demolished – it seems a bit of a strange assumption.”
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Mr Beal also pointed out that the changes would see the overall size of the finished building increase by 23 square metres.
“That’s the driving force to demolish it,” he added.
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Mr Beal said it was an “underhanded approach” and suggested the developer should seek independent advice on the building’s historic significance.
Spadge Hopkins said he had been pleased with the original plans to remove the newer aspects of the coach house and “strip it back to what it was”. “This seems to be moved on somewhat,” he added. “I don’t think it should be demolished. “We all know it’s a lot cheaper to demolish something than restore it – it’s the bottom line that’s driving this.”
John Jones said the application contained incorrect information and he could not to support it with such “contradictions”.
Hollins’ application said the amendment was sought after inspection of the building and a meeting with planning and conservation officers.
“The proposal is that the replacement structure will be of similar appearance to that which it is proposed to remove when viewed in relation to the adjacent listed structure,” it said. “In addition, the proposal being for a total replacement dwelling this will enable enhanced energy saving measures to be incorporated in the construction.”