Concerns grow about plan to convert historic Seaford pub into homes

V Bar Pelham Yard Seaford. August 12th 2013 E33002P
V Bar Pelham Yard Seaford. August 12th 2013 E33002P
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Concern about converting the second oldest pub in Seaford into homes is mounting.

Former town councillor Pauline Gower is planning to start a petition calling for the pub to be saved.

The pub was previously called the Hole in the Wall and, according to local historian Kevin Gordon, has been a pub for several centuries.

Speaking to the Sussex Express, Mrs Gower said: “If something comes up like this I get very upset because I don’t want to see the town spoiled.

“This will be a concern to visitors and residents all over Seaford. We get a lot of visitors.

“It’s getting more and popular with the Seaford Triathlon and the music events like Seaford Live.

“A lot of people visit Seaford and we need accommodation for them. We need more and more accommodation here.”

Mrs Gower said she was planning to put a petition into local shops calling for the pub to be saved.

But in a planning application to Lewes District Council, applicant London and City Estates said keeping it as a pub was not viable and that it had been marketed for more than a year at a fair market rent and on flexible terms.

In its planning application it said a marketing report demonstrated there was no demand for the property as a pub or a restaurant.

At a Seaford Town Council planning and highways meeting during July, Martin Johnson, of M Johnson Antiques, said he wanted to turn V Bar into a restaurant, but that numerous offers he made to the vendors had been turned down.

He said there was a shortage of restaurants in Seaford and that local residents often had to visit other towns to go out for dinner in the evening.

Local resident Pauline Cheatham also told the meeting a decent restaurant was needed in Seaford and would bring more business to the town, as well as benefiting residents.

A separate petition has been signed by almost 20 residents and sent to Lewes District Council protesting against the plans to convert the pub into homes.

One of the problems previously identified in Seaford is a lack of accommodation.

This means that despite its history, the South Downs National Park and the beach, as well as nearby Glyndebourne Opera House, the town is failing to meet demand.

The district council’s planning committee will have the final say on the scheme.

London and City Estates Ltd has applied for planning permission to turn the pub in Pelham Yard into a terrace of three residential units.

FACTBOX

historian kevin gordon said: “Its position close to the ancient cinque port - the harbour of Seaford - indicates that a building would have occupied this spot for centuries. It was one of four historic pubs in Seaford that were used for political meetings during the 18th and early 19th centuries, the others being the Old Tree, The Buckle and the New Inn.

“Today only the New Inn, now the Wellington, survives as a pub.”

The first known name for the pub was the Duke of Cumberland’s Head and is likely to have been named after Prince William, Duke of Cumberland (1721-1765). By the late 18th century it was called the Pelham Arms.