Flats plan for function room

PLANNING consent has been granted to turn a disused function room at The Mermaid pub and restaurant on the seafront into four self-contained flats.

Through agents Challinor Hall Associates, owner James Kimber said it would “make better use of a redundant area” and would “reduce the financial burden of £12,000 a year in business rates, together with a quarterly service charge and utility bills, and make it viable as a business.”

Mr Kimber, who also owns the Cooden Beach Hotel, said a smaller function room at the front of the building, formerly The Sackville on De La Warr Parade, would be refurbished to continue catering for club activities, and small wedding and funeral gatherings.

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He added: “Now that the floors directly above have been converted to residential apartments, any functions would be unacceptable from a noise aspect, further underlining the redundancy of this area.”

Yesterday Rother District Council’s planning committee heard that while the Highway Authority felt the flats might increase demand for parking, it did not think any formal objection could be sustained.

The committee agreed to grant full planning permission, extant for three years, subject to evidence that the conversion could be achieved while safeguarding the amenities of future occupants.

It was felt the scheme would not harm the character and appearance of the area or affect those living in adjacent apartments. Members heard that ongoing concerns about noise and smells from an extractor fan at the Mermaid were being dealt with separately as an environmental health matter.