VOTE: Holly Tree homes plan is thrown out

A DEVELOPMENT plan to save Walberton’s surviving pub has been refused.

An application for the proposed redevelopment of the Holly Tree pub has been rejected by Arun District Council which did not approve of plans to build some homes on the site.

Owner Hanbury Properties wanted planning permission for eight bed-and-breakfast rooms in a refurbishment of the public house. It also sought approval to build nine homes in the pub’s grounds off The Street.

The company said the money raised from the extra development was needed to make the pub a going concern.

But ADC planning officer Sue Leeson said in a report the proposal was not in line with the council’s local planning policy.

“The site is located outside the built-up area boundary where the countryside is protected for its own sake and new development is strictly controlled,” she said.

“It has not been demonstrated that there are overriding exceptional circumstances to permit development which is otherwise unacceptable.”

Mrs Leeson also ruled the layout and siting of homes would appear cramped and out of character with the surrounding area, and the development failed to make an adequate contribution towards affordable housing.

As previously reported by the Observer the development plans had split villagers.

A show of hands of residents at a recent meeting of Walberton Parish Council’s planning committee showed villagers were divided over the development plans.

The vote, held at the meeting in the village hall, in March, revealed 45 people opposed the scheme with 40 in favour.

At the meeting, members of the planning committee reflected the public’s concern and voted 3-2 to object to Arun District Council about the plans.

The pub was built in 1867 and has since been at the heart of the community.

It was previously owned by Enterprise Inns, which sold the pub after several landlords failed to make the business a success.

It closed and reopened after being bought by Hanbury Properties.

It closed again last August because of a lack of trade but has since reopened.

Walberton’s other pub, The Oaks, has closed and The Black Horse in nearby Binsted has also shut.