Plan for homes on pub fire site in Hellingly

Golden Martlet pub, Hellingly
Golden Martlet pub, Hellingly

A pub gutted by fire could be demolished and homes built on the land after a planning application for 16 dwellings was submitted to Wealden District Council.

The Golden Martlet pub in Station Road, Hellingly, was ravaged by fire in 2001.

The top floor of the building was completely gutted by the blaze and after permission for flats was turned down, it has remained derelict.

Following several arson attacks, the building has collapsed further with the roof and floor caving in, and has been described as an ‘eyesore’ by some residents with flytipped items littering the area.

There have been several applications for development on the site which were refused.

Now a new planning application has been submitted to demolish the building and build 16 residential units, as well as a small cafe with multi-purpose community room on the site.

Information in the application’s Design and Access statement said the cafe would be close to the route between Station Road and the Cuckoo Trail to provide facilities for passing cyclists, ramblers and horse riders.

As well as the pub, tennis courts, a former squash club and bar sit on the site, the application said all would be removed to pave the way for the development.

The planning application said the cafe and community room were proposed because of a need for them identified by the community.

The plans state it would not be ‘commercially viable’ to rebuild the pub for trading in the current financial climate.

There would be two, three and four bedroom dwellings on the site, which the developer said would retain the character of the area.

Several people have commented on the planning application.

One resident said: “The area is at risk of flooding, which can be seen on the Environmental Agency risk assessment website. The nearest squash courts are in Uckfield, a good 20-25 mins drive away. The area lacks these facilities and therefore I would like the facilities to stay. There are already plenty of new houses in Roebuck Park, and the area is lacking such facilities as a pub and leisure facilities. I would not want to see more houses built here. I would rather see leisure and commercial facilities which are lacking here in the village and local area.”

Another said: “Given the circumstances the proposal could be described as modest comprising as it does a range of housing styles and possibly tenure.”

Comments on the application close on March 14. To comment visit the council’s website and search for WD/2014/0100/MAO