The redevelopment of the site of a vacant Cowfold pub to include a Co-op store and new homes is a ‘recipe for disaster’ according to neighbours.
Katrina Howe and Lynne Sorrell, whose homes in Fairfield Cottages back on to the former Coach House Pub site, are concerned about the proposed development’s effect on both the village and their properties.
Current plans would see the ground floor turned into a Co-operative food store, the first floor converted into flats, the mews stables into homes, and six three-bedroom homes built on land to the rear.
The pair feel that the six new buildings will not only overshadow their homes, but would be out of keeping with the surrounding area, and will have a detrimental impact on the wider area of the village in terms of road safety.
Katrina said: “Cowfold is a very tight-knit community and we would like to keep it like that but I can see it’s not going to add anything to the village.”
Lynne added: “At a village level it’s more about road safety and traffic.
“They will be going straight on to that roundabout. There is not a direct footpath on the front.
“We have problems already, we will have traffic and pedestrian incidents.”
She continued: “I just think people will end up parking on the front. You can imagine people not going into the car park and parking on the front.
“It seems like a recipe for disaster and until you get an accident no one wants to take note.”
While they would have preferred the business to stay as a pub or be converted to a restaurant, if a new Co-op store does open they feel it needs more dedicated parking as the residential parking will be separate, as well as safer access arrangements on to the A281.
They also questioned the need for the six three-bedroom properties, when what was required in the village was either smaller units for first-time buyers or larger family homes.
It was also pointed out the site was in the Cowfold Air Quality Management Area.
Lynne added: “Our expectation is we are not going to stop this what we are just trying to do is mitigate or limit the impact.
“But we do worry about the cumulative effect it will have on the village if more developments are allowed.”