Historic Horsham pub in planning wrangle over garden pergola
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The historic King’s Arms in Horsham’s Bishopric is seeking retrospective listed building consent from Horsham District Council for year-round use of the pergola.
Pub owners North & South Leisure say that proposals for the structure were informally discussed with the council before it was built. In a statement to the council, they say they “did not disregard the planning process, but moreover believed, in this instance it was not required.”
North & South Leisure say they have high regard for the area’s history and point out that the listed-building pub has been a local watering hole since 1667 and is in an area – the Bishopric – once owned by the Archbishop of Canterbury when that position was part of the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1461, a Monday market was granted by ancient charter by Henry VI from which all rents and profits would go to the Archbishop. Bishopric, first named in 1545, soon became a wealthy district.
By 1550 the Bishopric was a flourishing market site with a medieval market cross. Later in the 18th century the area developed a distinct feature as a place of settlement for religious groups such as Quakers, Catholics, Baptists and Independents.
By the time of the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 the Bishopric was a flourishing area with a bustling market and two breweries.
In their statement to the council, the pub company says: “North & South Leisure Ltd are respectful custodians mindful of the rich history the area and the building represent for the town and the county.”
It adds: “History drives mystery and intrigue and it is good for business, the custodians of the Kings Arms recognise and respect this.”
They point out that the main purpose of the garden pergola is to shelter from the weather but say it also has a retractable roof for sunnier days, “making the garden at the Kings Arms a more attractive proposition.”
It also points out that there are tall brick walls around the courtyard patio garden, blocking it from public view “thus the impact on the surrounding area and the listed buildings status is, we feel, not compromised by the installation of this pergola structure.”