Amended Crown Inn plan gets thumbs up

AMENDED plans for the Crown Inn in Midhurst’s Edinburgh Square have been given the thumbs-up despite a recommendation from planning officers to turn them down.

Members of Chichester District Council’s North area development control committee voted ten-to-two in favour of giving permission to Danlea for amended plans to the design already approved by councillors.

They include alterations to elevations and a reduction in the length of the approved kitchen extension as well as minor amendments to the internal layout.

Planning officers told members the amendments proposed significant changes to the building, ‘undermining and devaluing the building’s listed status as well as its setting in the conservation area’.

Supporters of the application included Sheila Ryan representing the Midhurst Society who told the committee: “This is giving the building new life in the 21st century but retaining features from the past.”

Midhurst’s district council representative Cllr Gordon McAra said even though it was a listed building he felt it was ‘as ugly as sin’.

He thought the application made a reasonable stab at tidying up the building and enhancing the streetscape: “The reality is the application is an improvement and will add benefit to the townscape.”

However he was not convinced the proposed Georgian door was appropriate and he supported the town council’s view that a plain oak door should be provided instead.

The committee agreed a condition should be attached to the decision relating to door openings and windows.

Cllr Phillipa Hardwick said there was historical justification for the proposal and Cllr John Cherry said he believed the application made the building as attractive as was possible.