Farningham landlord asks for permission to shut down his pub for five years so he can live out his days in the village
There are fears that Farningham could lose one of its village pubs if a planning application involving The Chequers Inn in The High Street is given the go-ahead.
The application to Sevenoaks District Council, made by Graham Simpkin Planning Ltd on behalf of the landlord John Knight, is asking for a temporary change of use of the ground floor of the premises from a public house to additional residential accommodation for a period of five years.
Documents supplied by the agent to support the proposal say: “The Applicant is 76 years of age and has recently suffered ill-health from which he is recovering slowly. The public house has been his home for many years, and he would wish to continue to live at the property for as long as possible. However, he is no longer fit enough to continue to run the public house and it is unfair to place this burden on his younger partner.”
The application adds: “The Applicant has no wish to sacrifice the future use of the building as a public house but would wish to have a temporary cessation of the use in order that he may live out his remaining life at the site.”
Village residents and regulars are divided on the future of The Chequers Inn. Some fear that once the pub, one of three in the village, closes it is unlikely to open to the public again and this will be a loss to the community.
One neighbour has written to support the application and states that there is a growing parking problem for residents returning from work. He claims all the spaces are taken up by pub customers. He also cited the noise caused by live bands on music nights and clientele who drink outside the front doors of the pub.
Another opponent to the plan sent this plea to the District Council: “Farningham is already reeling from the loss of the Village Club which closed down in 2011 and this has already had a devastating impact on the community. There are very few quiet drinking pubs left in Farningham if The Chequers shuts down as well there will be only two lively pubs left.
“I am also not convinced that the temporary change of use of ground floor from a Public House to residential will be temporary. I strongly urge that the council use their common sense and reject this.”
To view the application made to Sevenoaks District Council, CLICK HERE
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