New homes replace arson-hit former pub

C130382-2 Bog Affordable  phot kate''Ann Smee, Arun district council chairman, Damien Hayley, senior development manager with Guiness Hermitage, and Ricky Bower, senior councilloor, on the new affordable housing site in Bersted.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C130382-2
C130382-2 Bog Affordable phot kate''Ann Smee, Arun district council chairman, Damien Hayley, senior development manager with Guiness Hermitage, and Ricky Bower, senior councilloor, on the new affordable housing site in Bersted.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C130382-2

FAMILIES will replace The Family Tree pub in North Bersted.

Social housing is being built on the site of the former pub.

The start of the £1.75m scheme of affordable homes by Guinness Hermitage was marked by the housing provider and landowner Arun District Council on Monday.

Ricky Bower, who heads the council’s planning service, said the housing was a good way to develop a previously-used site.

“It’s important from the council’s point of view to ensure we have got a good supply of affordable housing,” he said.

“It’s one of several sites we have coming forward which are local homes for local people. This work will also help towards our housing numbers.

“It’s a shame the pub was not being used as extensively as it should have been. But this is a reasonably good alternative use of the site.”

The pub, on the corner of Durlston Drive and Laburnum Grove, was built in the 1970s and closed in November, 2012. It had been set alight before its demolition was complete last month.

Guinness Hermitage is building three one-bed, three two-bed flats and eight three-bed houses.

It has been granted a 125-year lease for the land by the council to ensure affordable housing is provided there in the long term.

Arun will decide from its housing register who will be the properties’ first occupiers after their scheduled completion in summer 2014.

Each property has a parking space and will be let at some 80 per cent of the full commercial market rent.

Damian Hayley, Guinness Hermitage’s senior development manager, said: “This is an ideal site for us. It is a sustainable location, which is on a bus route, close to local shops and with doctors and a school nearby.

“We have worked hard, with the council, to create a development that makes optimum use of the land available, while maintaining an appearance which fits within its locality.

“These homes will have a high quality finish, using red bricks and building materials.”

This is one of three sites, of 62 homes in all, the company is building around Bognor.