With the submission of a second application to convert a Victorian pub into housing, Ancaster residents are preparing to voice their concerns at a parish meeting.
Earlier this year South Kesteven District Council refused permission to change The Ermine Way into five houses, citing: “It has not been demonstrated that consideration has been given to the re-use of the premises for an alternative community business.”
They also described it as ‘a cramped form of development’. The same applicant has now submitted amended plans for four dwellings. This has not come as welcome news to those Ancaster residents who previously objected to the conversion of the pub on Ermine Street, which they say was a ‘well used meeting place’ and ‘heart of the community’.
The developers challenge this, stating: “After many years of trading at a loss, the pub finally closed in mid-2014. Information from a succession of tenants identifies that the premises have been unable to operate as a viable, going concern in recent years and there is little prospect of the premises returning to viability in the future.
“The public house closure is set against a national backdrop of public house closures and a thriving local social club that is able to substantially undercut public house pricing. There is another public house in the village (The Railway), as well as the social club. Woody’s Bar at Woodland Waters is also located within walking distance of the village.”
They add: “Whilst the loss of a community facility within the village is regrettable, the application is accompanied by evidence that demonstrates that continued operation of the premises is not viable.”
A spokesperson for Ancaster parish council confirmed that there is continued objection to the plans, and added: “The problem is that if it’s changed to houses we will never get it back as a pub again.”
Residents can give their views at a public meeting in Ancaster parish hall on October 13, from 7.30pm.