Pub could be set for a last-minute reprieve

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AN HISTORIC Yapton pub could be saved from the bulldozers.

Orchard Homes and Developments, who want to build housing on the 200-year-old Lamb Inn, attended a meeting of Yapton Parish Council’s planning committee to present their new plans.

The proposals, outlined by the housebuilder’s land director Steve Birch, included the possible retention of the pub building.

Mr Birch said: “We have taken on board the reasons for refusal and, as I hope you will see, addressed them in this application.”

The revised application would be for 13 homes, a reduction of one on the previous bid.

“We would not demolish the pub, instead it would be converted into two homes. This means you would be able to keep the pub as a building,” said Mr Birch.

The position of the properties’ front doors would also be changed. Instead of opening out directly on the pavement, the doors would be moved to the side to create the main entrance to the homes.

They would also have back doors leading to gardens and space for two parked cars.

Mr Birch told Monday’s meeting they still intended two of the homes to be affordable.

“Because of the work which has already gone into this application, it is about three quarters of the way done and we would hope to be in a position to submit it to the district council fairly soon,” he said.

A previous application on the same Bilsham Road site was refused by Arun on July 25. It had previously been deferred to allow the council’s planning officers and the developers time to come up with a better scheme.

After their refusal, Orchard Homes and Developments launched an appeal against Arun’s decision, but Mr Birch pledged they would drop it should another planning application to given permission.

He said: “We had to launch it within a certain time frame which is why we have done so. We are here because we want to talk to you and have a chance to come up with an application that is acceptable to all of us.

“We want to be able to work with the local community.

“The Lamb has been decreasing in business for a number of years and a viability appraisal has been carried out by an independent company on behalf of Punch Taverns.

“They have confirmed the pub is no longer a viable business and this has been accepted by Arun District Council.”

During the meeting, residents raised concerns about overcrowding on the site, added pressure on existing infrastructure,and the developer’s ability to sell the homes in the current market.

Stephen Haymes, the chairman of the parish council and Yapton’s Arun District Council ward member, raised concerns about the re-siting of a bus stop. Mr Birch told Cllr Haymes they would look at possible alternatives.

David Tansley, the parish council’s clerk, reminded those gathered this was not a formal planning application.

“The parish council is not here to make a decision on this. We, like the public, are here to listen to what is being presented. If a planning application is submitted, the council will have the opportunity to make their comments as we do on any application,” he said.