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Planning applications for two village pub sites refused

Applications for homes at two village pub sites have been given the red light by planning officers.

CHEDBURGH - Marquis of Cornwallis pub The Street Picture Mark Westley. (4002316)
CHEDBURGH - Marquis of Cornwallis pub The Street Picture Mark Westley. (4002316)

In Chedburgh, an application to change the use of the Marquis Cornwallis into a private dwelling was turned down by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, while in Cockfield a plan for five homes on the Plough and Fleece site – with the existing pub retained – was refused by Babergh District Council.

Chedburgh villagers, who formed Chedburgh Marquis Community Hub with the intention of purchasing and running the pub, are celebrating the decision.

The pub, which is listed as an asset of community value, closed last year but the group’s initial offer to buy it was refused last month.

Maximilian Clay, Chedburgh Parish Council Clerk, said: “The parish council registered strong objections to this change of use as it has been keen to keep a pub in the village.

“The parish council has also supported the community interest group in its efforts to buy and run the pub as asset for the community, so it is happy that St Edmundsbury’s decision keeps that prospect alive.”

The application was refused on the grounds of loss of community facilities, its asset of community value listing and insufficient information on potential site contamination risk.

A St Edmundsbury Borough Council planning decision report said: “Allowing the change of use would permanently remove the only pub within a village which already lacks a range of local facilities.

“The loss of the Marquis Cornwallis would be harmful to the social viability of Chedburgh as a whole.”

Agent Brian Hewkin said: “If this site does not find an alternative use it will become derelict. Surely it is better to have something which enhances the entrance to the village.”

The Cockfield plan for up to five houses adjacent to Great Green was refused on the grounds of the potential harm to the village’s character due to its density and the impact on road safety, with the proposed access allowing inadequate visibility.

Cockfield Parish Council had objected to the scheme. Some villagers also had concerns, while others had written supporting the application.

Joyce Aldous Bencott said the plan looked ‘absolutely wonderful’, but Susan Langley said the scheme would ‘seriously impinge upon surrounding properties’.