Plans submitted to turn pub into home

Rose Cottage, Alciston
Rose Cottage, Alciston

The owner of a popular pub in Alciston says he is assessing his options for retirement after submitting a planning application which could turn the building into a family home.

Ian Lewis, who owns the Rose Cottage Inn and has run the business with his wife Ginny for 35 years, had wanted to build a house on his land, oppositethe pub, so he could retire in the village.

This was refused and the couple have now submitted a planning application to the South Downs National Park Planning Authority for change of use into a private property.

Ian said: “Ginny and I are looking at our options for retirement. I moved here, to Alciston, as a seven year old in 1959. I am now rather settled. Our preferred option would be to build a house suitable for us on the land we own next to the pub, giving us the flexibility to sell, lease or rent the pub as a going concern.

“Given the uncertain future of country pubs, we have applied for planning permission for change of use, which if granted I understand will give us three years to decide our options. In the mean­time my wife, our staff and I remain committed to the high standards of our reputation for a Sussex country pub with good freshly cooked, homemade food,supporting local Sussex farms, Sussex fishermen, Sussex bakers and Sussex brewers.”

Commenting on the planning application, some residents have come out in support of the plan. One resident, said: “If the landlord can’t retire and live in the village he was brought up in, by building his own house, what else do we expect? Yes he could sell the pub but he would then have to move out of the village he has lived in for nearly 60 years. How can we make anybody do that?”

Others were opposed to the application. One resident said: “This pub helps the local economy and provides an amenity and an attraction for visitors. It would be greatly missed.”