The documents related to the Dragons Head Application were updated on the 12 of this month. One of the new documents is an objection by a Mrs. Kate Manders to the planning application. I am so astounded by the content and inaccuracies that the objection contains that I post it in full below.
I would love to hear how many people agree with Kate that “the majority of villagers (excluding one or two Parish Councillors) have no faith in the application”. In fact the Parish Council wrote to the Planning Department saying “Parish Councillors are unanimously IN SUPPORT of this application.”
Somebody is telling pork pies. However, here are Kate’s comments:
I object in the strongest possible terms to the application for planning for the Dragon’s Head, on several counts. Whittington has a major problem with parking, and the proposal to remove the existing car park from the rear of the pub and convert it into access for housing will cause yet more problems with unsafe parking in the village. It will endanger lives, cause congestion and the access from the proposed three houses onto Main Street on a difficult and potentially blind corner will be dangerous.
In addition, I do not believe that any business plan submitted by the applicant is genuine. Whittington needs a pub. Not a tea room with a pub that may or may not open 2 or 3 evenings a week. This is not be a viable business plan but a cynical attempt to get planning permission for housing. It is my guess that, when the business fails in 2-3 years
time, the applicant will then say that it was never a viable option and seek permission to convert the pub building into residential accommodation.
The applicant has held the village to ransom since he bought the premises with a threat that he can only open a pub if he can build houses. This is nonsense. Why did he not refurbish the pub when he first bought it, and promised us it would be open by Christmas 2015? In my opinion, any reason he gives for needing to build houses in order to reopen the pub is not based on commercial reality, but greed. If he needs money to build the houses at the back, then surely opening the business as soon as possible after purchase would have been a priority.
Thirdly, the building of any housing at the back of the pub will destroy what could be a valuable asset to the pub, namely the beer garden. No customers will want to sit in a beer garden at the front of the building and breathe in traffic fumes and look at the village hall, when
they could have been sitting at the back looking at the view. It makes no sense. In addition, any seating at the front will further limit vehicle access to the back, making the entrance yet more unsafe.
I have absolutely no faith in the application, and despite the opinions or one or two members of the Parish Council, a quick vox poll of villages would tell you that neither do the majority of the residents of the village.
There are plenty of ideas locally about how the pub could be reopened and be a real asset to the community. It
does not require holding the village to ransom with demands for houses that are unnecessary – housing already for sale in the village is not selling, and the building of 18 further properties on Whittington Farm will reduce demand even further. Without the necessary
infrastructure of village amenities, the village is not as attractive to potential buyers as others in the area.
I trust you will include these comments in your decision process.