Pub site under threat

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A PLAN to convert the site of a village pub into six residential properties has been opposed by local groups.

Greene King has submitted plans to convert the Rose and Crown, in Holmsey Green, Beck Row, into a residential property and to build five further houses on the 0.32 hectare site.

A spokesperson for Greene King said: “Unfortunately, due to declining sales, the pub became unviable as a business and was closed more than a year ago.

“We have since been unable to re-open the site and, as such, we took the decision to apply to change the pub into housing.”

The pub was closed in July 2011 and within the planning application it is stated that in the five years before the pub’s closure wet trade fell by 71 per cent.

The plans to convert the site have been opposed by Beck Row, Holywell Row and Kenny Hill Parish Council, which said: “The loss of any amenity is to the detriment of both existing and future residents. Public transport to nearby towns has been greatly reduced, particularly in the evenings, and the parish council feels that it is essential that the limited amenities Beck Row does have should be retained.

“We do not accept the claim made by Greene King that this public house is not viable.”

John Gagen, pubs officer for the Campaign for Real Ale’s (Camra) West Suffolk Branch, said: “Camra laments the loss of any community pub.

“With the economic climate as it is, a lot of pubs are not trading well, but once a pub is gone, it’s gone.”

Cllr David Chandler said: “It would be a terrible loss of a social hub.”

The plan, which can be viewed on Forest Heath District Council’s website, is open to consultation until August 1.