Housing plans for ancient village pub

Elephant and Castle , West Chiltington W11401H8.
Elephant and Castle , West Chiltington W11401H8.

A VILLAGE is opposing demolition of a Grade 2 listed former pub to make way for six houses. Plans have been submitted for the homes to be built on the site of the historic Elephant and Castle pub in Church Street, West Chiltington, which is believed to date back to the 1600’s.

The pub is believed to be the former village rectory.

The tenancy pub was closed some time ago because the brewery could not find a new tenant and extensive work was also needed on electricity, gas, heating and the kitchen equipment would have had to be replaced. The work was expected to cost as much as £40,000 and the brewery felt the pub was no longer viable.

Now it is proposed to build five two-bedroom properties and one home with three bedrooms on the site. But most of the large garden which belonged to the pub has already been used for new houses.

Now the pub has only the car park and a small area of garden for the planned new development,

Parish clerk, Mr Tony Thomas said: “It is not an attractive setting for the homes because of the surrounding development and there is only one parking space per unit allowed in the plans. Most homes nowadays have two cars, Where will these go? Parking is already scarce in Church Street and extra cars will cause problems,

“A resident has been in the office this week and raised the question of wheelie bins. With three to each household, it would mean 18 on site! This would be a major intrusion.”

Commenting on the loss of the pub, Mr Thomas said that many country pubs were struggling in the face of drink-drive regulations and the smoking ban.

“You could say we were almost over-endowed with pubs in West Chiltington, for the Elephant and Castle was one of three. We still have a thriving pub in the centre of the village, The Queen’s Head, and there is The Five Bells on the edge of the village. In that sense we have not suffered from the loss of the Elephant and Castle. But we are raising objections to this inappropriate application.”

The plans have been submitted to Horsham Distict Council for full planning permission for the homes.

There has also been an application for listed building consent, which asks permission to alter or demolish an existing building.

To view the plans DC/11/2671visit: http://public-access.horsham.gov.uk/public-access/