Former village pub could be demolished to build homes

A former village pub could be demolished to build four homes if given the go-ahead by Fenland planners.

Woadmans Arms, in Newton-In-The-Isle, stopped trading in July 2017 and the site was sold over the summer for around £135,000.

Paul Farenden, who lists the pub 343 High Road as his address, now wants to knock it down to make way for two semi-detached and two detached homes.

They will all have three bedrooms and car parking for eight cars has been proposed.

The application’s design and access statement explains the design of the semi-detached building is influenced from the pub’s existing features.

It says: “For example, the width of the existing two-storey section along with eaves detailing, brick type, and window sizes are all consistent with the existing property.

Planning rules require evidence that the pub is no longer financially viable and there is a lack of need for the facility in the community.

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The design and access statement also outlines the effort property agent Sydney Phillips put into marketing the public house.

It reveals in the six and a half months the property was on the market, there were 14 viewings between February 24 and June 9.

The report said: “The majority of interest was in doing a residential scheme.

“The feedback received was that a conversion of the pub to residential was found not to be cost-effective.”

It added: “There was initial interest from three parties in retaining the property as a pub however no offer was received from either.”

Four offers were received between £130,000 and £138,500.

The report also states the property had been marketed for lease between January 2013 and June 2017.

While the pub was marketed online and in the trade press, Cllr Michael Humphrey has noted no local advertising was secured.

His comment on the Fenland District Council planning portal said: “I remain unconvinced the property was marketed well, the report says no local advertising, surely local village pubs normally go to local people.

“I also take issue with the price, this should have been available to local interested parties for an affordable price to maintain it as a village pub.”