Monday, 26 November 2012

Council saves pub from demolition

The Northdown public house had been saved from demolition by Thanet District Council’s refusal to approve planning permission that – had it been given – would have sealed the building’s fate.
Situated on the Palm Bay estate, Margate, The Northdown was built in the 1970s and was once a focal point for the local community.  But in 2008 it was closed and sold to a developer. Subsequently, the developer submitted a planning application to demolish the pub and build 12 houses in its place.
However, the council refused permission on the grounds that it would result in the loss of a valued local community facility. Designs for the part of the proposed housing were also deemed, by the council, to be poor .
The developer submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, and a Secretary of State-appointed Inspector held a public hearing at the council offices on Wednesday 17 October. Many local residents came to the well-attended hearing and backed the council’s decision.
But the appeal was dismissed by the Inspector on Monday 19 November, who supported the council’s decision. He said that The Northdown was valued community facility, and that there was no adequate alternative provision available.
In his concluding report, the Inspector said that the planning system can play an important role in facilitating social interaction and creating healthy and inclusive communities. He also noted considerable local opposition.
Thanet District Council’s Cabinet member for Housing and Planning, Cllr David Green, said: “For many years, The Northdown was more than just a pub – it also served as an invaluable hub for the community. Sadly, the pub business has closed and local people have lost a resource.
“But the council has always firmly believed that The Northdown has an integral role to play in the future of the community, and that’s why we’re very happy with the Inspector’s decision.”
He added: “We’re extremely grateful for the support that we’ve receive from members of the public, particularly those who were able to attend the Hearing and put their concerns to the Inspector. They shared our concerns, and collectively, we’ve managed to save The Northdown and give the building a future.”

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