Country pub set to be extended

Plans to extend a 19th century pub in Bepton have been approved by the South Downs National Park Authority.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 9:05 am
The Country Inn, Bepton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

The Country Inn closed in January 2020, but plans to extend the building would see it retained as a pub.

The applicant, The Cowdray Estate, wants to form a trio of single storey ‘wings’ around the main building ‘in a form which is consistent with the vernacular of the original building’.

The design and access statement by James Wells Architects said: “The use of the building will remain the same. The trend of public houses closing in England is well known and does not need to be rehearsed. Neither is it necessary to point out the obvious conversion proposals, often to residential uses, that tend to follow pub closures.

“The applicant wishes the building to remain in its original use which will offer employment in the local area as well as providing a viable future for the property.

“The very modest size of the front of house and back of house areas do not provide the accommodation now expected to run a hospitality enterprise effectively and profitably, evidenced in the fact that the site in its current form is not a viable proposition. It is therefore necessary to extend the building footprint to allow a more financially viable venue to be created, securing the building in this use for many years to come.”

The plans would bring the number of covers inside from 24 to 70 and include provision for staff accommodation on the first floor. There would be 26 parking spaces.

Objections included concerns that the village pub was being changed into a restaurant, the small number of parking spaces, flooding and increased noise disturbance.

The application was approved by the South Downs National Park Authority.