Appeal for flagpole at Mayfield listed building dismissed

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AN APPEAL seeking permission to erect a flag pole on the front of a grade II listed building in Maresfield has been dismissed by council bosses.

Residents had hoped permission would be granted to place a flagpole for display of the Union Jack and St Georges Flag on the exterior of the 18th century Chequers Inn, in the High Street, Maresfield.

A planning application was submitted to the council in December last year but was turned down after conservation groups including English Heritage raised concerns about the idea. In a statement on the original planning application a spokesman for the organisation said: “There are already a number of signs and electrical fixtures on the west elevation of the inn. The addition of a very large flagpole will further clutter this carefully composed elevation to the point where the cumulative effect of numerous minor additions would be harmful to the buildings significance.”

Residents investigated a number of alternative sites but without success. Villagers felt the flag would help boost tourism - with the Olympics and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and felt not having the opportunity to display the flag in the heart of the village would be a ‘lost opportunity.’ The application was originally given approval by Maresfield Parish Council and Maresfield Conservation Group - there was only one objection from a resident. Wealden MP Charles Hendry also supported the idea. Wealden District Council have now dismissed the appeal. A statement from the appeal said: “The benefits would not outweigh the harm which would be caused. The proposal would fail to preserve the special interest of the listed building.”