Developer resubmits Horsebridge pub demolition plans

The White Hart Pub, Horsebridge (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160317-083303008
The White Hart Pub, Horsebridge (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160317-083303008

A developer has re-submitted controversial plans to demolish a Horsebridge pub just weeks after original plans were withdrawn.

The original plans, to demolish The White Hart inn London Road and build seven houses in its place, were withdrawn by developers last month after widespread opposition from village residents.

The amended application – for six houses instead of seven – has already attracted several formal objections from residents.

In a letter to Wealden District Council’s planning committee, David Thomas said, “It is very disappointing to see this application again. The road cannot take the extra traffic that these six new properties would create, next to a bend on an already busy stretch going through this village.

“The sewage system is struggling to cope with what it takes at present, these new dwellings would create more problems. Flooding due to over-development in this area is a major concern.

“This is now the only pub left in this village and surrounding area, a great meeting place for all to use and enjoy. It is the centre of village life and has been for more than 200 years and with the amount of new housing going in around here should surely remain so for many years to come.

“Many of us who live within walking distance of The White Hart moved here for just this reason and it should not be taken away for more housing.”

Current owners Tim and Les Whitehouse say they are not responsible for any of the planning applications and have been trying to sell the pub as a going concern for more than seven years.

Mr Whitehouse, 73, said, “I’ve been trying to sell it for years at the market price and £50,000 below it but with things the way they are no one is – or very few people are – buying pubs. The only person who has shown any interest is the developer who is trying to see if he can get planning permission.

“It’s a lovely pub with lovely people who visit it. I want to stay here. It’s only retirement which is forcing us to leave.”

The couple say they are keen to retire for health reasons after Tim underwent a quadruple heart bypass 18 months ago.

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