THE historical Ship Inn pub may become a house, as plans have been submitted to change its use.
The South Harting pub, dates back to at least 1758, when a will made by Henry Hall, an innholder, listed his ‘dwelling house lately purchased from Thomas Scardefield, known as the Ship Inn’.
But now there are plans to turn The Ship Inn into a house, after it ceased trading in April, this year.
Roger Benson, secretary of Trio Estates Limited, the company who have submitted the plan, said: “The Ship has traded at a substantial loss over recent years during which time this Grade II listed building has fallen into a most serious state of disrepair.
“We commissioned a detailed study of the future economic viability of the Ship and this concluded that given the number of public houses in the nearby villages (there are 10 within a five mile radius plus all the pubs and wine bars in Petersfield) and the existence of the White Hart in South Harting itself, that no operation here could be viable.
“Indeed were The Ship to reopen as a public house, it may be assumed that the future of the White Hart would be immediately called into question, to say nothing of the nuisance that might be caused to the remainder of the village by the on-street parking given that The Ship has no car park.”
The planning, design and access statement submitted to the South Downs National Park planning authority, estimates a cost of £220,000 to make the necessary repairs to reopen the building as a pub.
It also states South Harting has insufficient trade to sustain two pubs and the nearby White Hart has the superior facilities.
No external changes to the historical building are proposed, except for the removal of signage associated with its previous use. All changes will be internal.
Harting Parish Council will hold an open meeting on December 11, from 6.30pm, at the community hall to discuss the application.
A decision on the plans will be made before January 2, by Chichester District Council on behalf of the South Downs National Park Authority.
Comments can be made on the proposals before December 13, by visiting planningpublicaccess.southdowns.gov.uk/online-applications with reference SDNP/12/02760/FUL.