Friday, April 12th, 2024

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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EYNSFORD IN BLOOM: The next working party meetings are at 9.30am on Tuesdays 15, 22, & 29 October, and 9.30am on Saturday 2 November. New helpers are very much needed and always very welcome. The working parties meet in the main village car park opposite the church. Tools and coffee are provided. For more info call Pauline Penny on 01322 864751

CANCER SUPPORT: The recent Farningham WI coffee morning held in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support raised £500 for the charity thanks to generosity and hard work of the WI members.

FARNINGHAM GUITAR CLUB is holding two Musical Charity Concerts in aid of Gravesham & Dartford Phab Club (Physically Handicapped & Able Bodied) Club at Farningham Village Hall on Saturday 9 November and Saturday 16 November – 8pm – 11pm (doors open at 7.30pm). The club promises a couple of hours of entertainment containing an eclectic mix of folk, rock, pop & blues music (with a bit of humour thrown in). The audience is invited to take along their own refreshments. More info by emailing: and to order tickets at £9 go to:

POLYCHOR CONCERT: St Peter and St Paul Church in Farningham will be filled with music on Saturday 16 November during a Polychor Concert. The programme starts at 7.30pm and includes two of Handel’s ‘Coronation Anthems’ and Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’. Interval refreshments will be available. Admission is £10 (U18s free) and tickets are available from: Norman’s the Butcher in Eynsford, Wadard Books in Farningham, or by emailing: Tickets can also be bought on the door.

FARNINGHAM & EYNSFORD LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY meets on Friday 8 November at 7.30pm for 8pm in Eynsford Village Hall for a talk by Dr Jean Stirk entitled ‘Creep, Pull, Push’. It is about Workers on the Move and covers the various influences and the willing or unwilling motives behind the moves and how to trace moving families). Members free, non-members £2. Enquiries via email at: or go to the website:

EYNSFORD IN BLOOM: The next working party meetings are at 9.30am on Tuesdays 1,8,15, 22, & 29 October. 9.30am on Saturdays 5 October and 2 November. New helpers are very much needed and always very welcome. The working parties meet in the main village car park opposite the church. Tools and coffee are provided. For more info call Pauline Penny on 01322 864751

FARNINGHAM AND DISTRICT HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: The AGM and supper are on Wednesday 20 November. New members are very welcome. Email:

EYNSFORD GARDENER’S CLUB: The next horticultural show is Saturday 16 November at 2pm in Eynsford Village Hall. This is also the date for the club’s AGM. More information about this show, our other shows, and how to become a member can be found on the club website:

WALKING INTO FRIENDSHIP AND FITNESS: Regular walks start from Eynsford Riverside at 9.30am on Monday mornings. There is no need to book, just turn up and meet the group and the leader. Usually walk are around five miles long. For more information contact Mike Riches on 01322667654 or email: Alternatively look on the website: .

A FARNINGHAM FRIDAY CAFÉ is held at the Shand Hall, just behind Farningham Church, from 10am – noon every Friday. Everyone is invited to come and share a coffee or tea with old friends or new. For more information email:

TEA AND CHAT: A friendly group meets every Thursday at Farningham Village Hall and offers a supportive and enjoyable break to anyone who is lonely or perhaps just needs a little time away from their house or would like to meet some new friends, chat and share some cake and tea. For more information email:

FRIENDS OF FARNINGHAM is a group of volunteers who meet for just an hour twice every month to help tidy the village. The group meets at the village hall at 10am on Thursday 26 September and on Saturday 7 September. If you would like to volunteer email Cllr Carol Salmon on: or Jane Grey on:

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