Devastating blow to community

I feel I must write in order to express my objection to the proposed planning application reference P/12/01031/SNDP/12/01032/LIS which will mean the end of the historic Black Horse pub in Amberley.

The Black Horse is the centre of the Amberley community and since its closure Amberley lacks atmosphere.

We moved to Amberley in 2007 and The Black Horse was pivotal in our integration into the local community.

We have regularly used the pub and benefited from its function room where various social and community occasions have been held.

I have attended the mothers’ group social evenings, joined the Tuesday Amberley Folk Club and met with the local community after the millennium green tidy up for a well earned drink.

My little girl was pictured in the County Times while drawing the winning ticket at the Mother’s Day raffle held at the pub.

It is a family tradition to have a meal in the Black Horse on Christmas Eve and have a pre Christmas dinner drink with the locals on Christmas Day.Our own real little black horse Ronnie has often been seen causing a spectacle outside the Black Horse while we have a drink on the tables at the front of the pub.

The Black Horse had close links with Amberley First School providing raffle prizes and opened its lovely garden to raise money for charity in an Amberley open garden day.

During periods when Amberley has been snowed in, the Black Horse has provided the only place in the village centre to meet with others.

I have missed bumping into people that I no longer see since its closure.

The Black Horse is the only place in the old village where you can get a meal or use a toilet and the fact that it is in walking distance is great for those who want a tipple or those who don’t drive.

Guests at Arundel Castle often came into Amberley to use the Black Horse and I have met many people from abroad there, again supporting the local economy.

The staff from Amberley Castle often used the Black Horse to unwind and relax while keeping in touch with friends and family via the pub’s wi-fi.

The Black Horse brings walkers and day visitors to the heart of Amberley and also provides trade for the local shop, the pottery, the B&BS and the village tea room.

We had our wedding reception booked for June in the beautiful old Black Horse function room, which was the only room large enough in the village with a bar and catering facilities.

When the Black Horse closed in March we had to rebook our reception outside the village, unfortunately there was no other suitable venue in Amberley, which again meant the local B&BS and the shop etc lost trade, not to mention the transport issues it caused.

The Black Horse has been a pub for hundreds of years and it would be devastating for the locals and those who like to visit to lose the Grade II listed building.

It seems morally wrong for one individual to make a profit from destroying the fabric of a such an old inn at the cost of all those who enjoy this facility.

Yes there is another pub nearby, and although lovely it is out of the village and does not hold the same facilities or historic appeal.

L. DUNN (Mrs)

East Street, Amberley