Plans to turn a pub into a shop in Hampden Park have been turned down by the council’s planning committee.
Eastbourne Borough Councillors unanimously voted to reject the plan at the Town Hall on Tuesday night (November 27).
It was given the red light because councillors felt turning the pub into a shop would result in the loss of a community facility.
The application to demolish the existing single storey extension and build two single storey extensions was turned down but councillors did agree to grant a certificate for change of use from a pub to a shop. They said while they didn’t agree it should change its use they had little choice because of a law passed in 2005.
Members of the public spoke against the plan to turn the building in to a shop.
Tory Cllr Colin Belsey told the planning committee, “Are we trying to get other store to close down in the town? I think the answer to that is no.
“There are two shops that are there in the Broadway that could be affected.”
He said the Broadway was full of shops and was well used.
Michael Thompson, a resident who has used the pub for many years, said, “There no other pubs within walking distance .”
He also told councillors the hall within the pub was a community facility which should not be lost.
The application stated there were other pubs within the vicinity but this was disputed by councillors on the planning committee.
Cllr Alun Cooke said, “There isn’t another public house nearby and I think that is to the detriment of the neighbourhood.”
And Cllr John Ungar, chair of the planning committee, added, “Nowadays they [pubs] are hubs of the community, where people can go, and not just to enjoy alcoholic drinks.”
He added, “They help bring the community together, especially at times of community stress.”
He also raised concerns about a potential increase in drink driving if people have to travel further from their home to their nearest pub.
Hampden Park residents attended the meeting and clapped as the councillors turned down the plans.