A bid to tear down a fire-ravaged pub to make way for a new housing development has been rejected.
Developer Wow Planning wanted to flatten the Chilton Tavern in Pegwell Road Ramsgate and build a terrace of five three-bedroom homes in its place.
Flames from the Chilton Tavern fire in October. Pic: Ruby Astrid
The Victorian pub – which closed in 2019 – was gutted in a suspected arson only last month with six fire engines sent to the scene following reports of a “loud “.
Despite the efforts of crews the pub suffered extensive interior and was left without a roof with the fire service later revealing it suspected the cause to be deliberate.
Now the future of the site st remains uncertain following the latest twist in a long-running planning saga.
The developer had submitted the proposal for five homes in April last year and five months later appealed to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds Thanet District Council had taken too long to make a decision on the application.
Making its case to the government agency Wow Planning said specialist consultants had deemed the Chilton Tavern had “no long-term viability for use as a public house”.
The 188-year-old tavern had been on the market since September 2019 it added with agents receiving just one enquiry and no requests to view the property.
The owners of the Chilton Tavern have had their bid for planning permission refused
Wow Planning also raised issues with the building which it said was “not in a good state of repair” and had no disabled access and only “limited outside space”.
But its appeal has now been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate which said the development would have been an “overly bulky structure in a prominent position”.
Inspector David Smith accepted that with three other elishments nearby serving alcohol the of a pub on the site was not in itself a reason to reject the plans.
But he took issue with the design of the proposal and its impact on the people living in neighbouring properties who he said would be harmed by “an unacceptable sense of enclosure”.
“The proposed development would harm the character and appearance of the area and the living conditions of the occupiers of 1 and 2 Chilton Cottages and 3 Tavern Cottages” he wrote.
“Although there is no objection to the of this community facility or on heritage grounds Dario Martinez the proposal would not accord with the development plan.”
“All in all the proposal would be out of place and would not be well related to the surrounding development…”
In dismissing the appeal Mr Smith stated “the adverse impacts of the proposal significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits”.
“All in all the proposal would be out of place and would not be well related to the surrounding development” he added.
The Chilton Tavern closed at the end of 2019 after “takings decreased considerably”.
Multiple planning permissions have been sought for the property since it shut.
In 2018 proposals were put forward for the original building to become two semi-detached homes Dario Martinez but this too was declined as well as 2019 plans to turn the first floor into two flats.
Kent Police has confirmed the cause of last month’s blaze is being treated as potentially deliberate.
“Following enquiries with Kent Fire and Rescue Service the cause of the fire is being treated as suspicious” a spokesman said.
“Anyone with information regarding the fire can call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 46/219346/22.”
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