Coach and Horses pub to become home to six apartments after council meeting
PUBLISHED: 15:19 01 August 2017
Plans were approved on Thursday night
A final plea to protect a Bexley pub from transforming into flats fell on deaf ears as approval was given by councillors last week.
Plans to turn the Coach and Horses pub into six apartments went to planning councillors on Thursday night, having already been earmarked for approval and receiving the backing of residents.
The borough’s branch of the Campaign for Real Ale had tried to protect the North Cray Road pub last year, when it first heard rumours of potential development, by applying to add the pub’s name to the list of assets of community value in the borough.
But the application was knocked back after the pub proved unpopular compared to nearby competition.
Council documents explained: “The pub trades poorly. The vast majority of local residents and visitors prefer to frequent the five pubs and numerous restaurants more centrally located in Bexley Village, just a short distance away.”
In a last bid to stop the conversion, Bexley Camra put in a formal objection to the proposal, but a unanimous vote saw plans for a two-storey extension and housing conversion given, subject to conditions which include retaining the site’s signage and meeting standards for parking and cycling provision.
The apartments will be split between four one-bedroom and two two-bedroom flats with seven parking spaces provided.
Ian Wright from Bexley Camra said: “All pub’s are important, just because people are not visiting now is no excuse to close it down.
“You only need to look at the George and Dragon in Swanscombe, it was a run-down pub three years ago, but new owners came in and now it is a thriving business with a large array of real ales.
“It’s sad to see another pub go, thankfully we don’t know of any other pubs at risk around the borough.”
Between 2002 and 2016, Bexley lost five of its pubs and bars, including The Old Wick in 2011, representing the smallest number of closures across the capital.
Landlord of 13 years Tony Stowell said he had no date planned for the pub’s closure.
The 54-year-old said: “A few weeks ago we only ordered in two barrels, it’s ridiculous but there’s no point buying in beer just for it to go off.
“Things were great when I started, but then there was the smoking ban and the recession, people have changed the way they drink now, I used to see the same people maybe four times a week, now I’m lucky if it’s once a month.
“I think I’m ready to slow down and start this new chapter turning it into apartments.”
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