Popular restaurant to be demolished?

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Plans have been unveiled to demolish a former restaurant and build a shop and homes in its place.

The Old Polegate Station Restaurant in Station Road closed some months ago and now developers want to knock it down and build a Co-op convenience store with more than 20 new flats above it.

The application on behalf of Geko Developments Limited has been submitted to Wealden District Council planners.

Developers say the building, one of many stations built in the 19th century but is not listed, has little historic and architectural interest in part due to conversions in years gone by and a large fire that gutted the building several years ago.

A spokesperson for the developers said, “We wish to see a mixed use development embracing a Southern Co-op convenience store and residential development.

“With respect to the demolition of the existing building and its replacement we would confirm out view that the existing building has little architectural merit particularly as its brickwork has been heavily overpainted.

“The paint cannot be removed without damaging the brickwork. Therefore the original appearance of the building cannot be restored.”

Included in the application is a plan for 23 one, two and three bedroom flats with 23 parking spaces as well as 12 designated customer parking spaces for people using the convenience store.

The old railway station opened as a restaurant in the late 1980s and in recent years was run by husband and wife team Tony and Karen Wyman.

The hugely popular eatery was badly damaged by a blaze that broke out in the early hours of a September morning in 2013 and did not re-open until the following January.