Fresh bid to turn pub into home
By David LennardA FRESH application has been made to turn a village pub into a house as the owner said the business simply could not survive.Earlier this year Sharon Cripps, owner and licensee of the Lion Inn in Little Glemham, near Saxmundham, had a similar application turned down by Suffolk Coastal District Council.
By David Lennard
A FRESH application has been made to turn a village pub into a house as the owner said the business simply could not survive.
Earlier this year Sharon Cripps, owner and licensee of the Lion Inn in Little Glemham, near Saxmundham, had a similar application turned down by Suffolk Coastal District Council.
Ms Cripps and chef manager, Martin Pendle, said it was no longer viable to run the pub that stands alongside the A12 north of the Wickham Market bypass.
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Planning officers rejected the original application in May because "insufficient evidence" had been provided to show the pub could not be made financially viable or sold as a going concern.
Trading figures for the pub were provided just days after the earlier application was refused and showed the business had seen a 23% drop in trade over the past year and had a trading debt of £14,000.
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Mr Pendle said: "During the past six months trade has not improved and we have also been unsuccessful in trying to sell the pub as a going concern.
"We are asking for councillors and officials at Suffolk Coastal District Council to look at the evidence we are providing with the application."
The previous application was opposed by members of Little Glemham Parish Council and the Suffolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale group.
"We are expecting similar objections as no-one, including us, wants to see the loss of a village pub, but all we ask is for everyone to look at the figures we are providing," said Mr Pendle.
"The vast majority of people living in the village do not use the pub and we are not here to provide a facility, but need to run a successful business."
Although the pub is on a busy main road, it suffered a dramatic downturn in trade when signs informing motorists of its whereabouts had to be removed.
The latest application has now been lodged with Suffolk Coastal District Council and will be decided in the coming months.