Planning permission was granted this week to convert the Angel pub, Woodhatch, into two homes, but preserving the inside and outside of the Grade II listed building.
Under the scheme, the main part of the vacant pub will become a five-bedroom home, while an outbuilding will be demolished to make way for a three-bedroom property.
In recent years, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council has turned down a number of other conversion proposals for the site. Those called for the main building to be divided, leading to concerns about the impact of internal changes.
The latest application, when it was originally filed in November, also sought to split the building. However, when a borough conservation officer objected, the parties entered into negotiations. As a result, amended plans were filed in July, keeping the main building as one unit.
Councillors at Wednesday’s planning committee welcomed the fact that a way had been found to preserve the heritage of the site and, at the same time, allow for its redevelopment.
The planning and listing building consents were granted to applicant Mr H Schneck subject to conditions, after discussion and voting.
The committee’s decision was in line with the planning officer’s recommendation. The report prepared for the meeting said:
“The proposed conversion of the existing public house would not involve external alterations to the main fabric of the building, with the exception of incorporating tile hanging to the front elevation.
The conversion would involve a minimal level of internal alterations, therefore minimising the risk of harming the historic and cultural integrity of the Grade II listed building.
Following various [planning] attempts at sub-dividing the building into apartments, which led to concerns about the historic fabric of the 17th century timber-framed building, a design approach to keep the building as a single dwelling and construct the additional unit separately to the rear was taken.
This therefore follows extensive design negotiations with officers to strike an appropriate balance between preserving the fabric and setting of the listed building and allowing a viable development to proceed in order to bring the site back into use.
Currently vacant, the building is falling into disrepair and, whilst powers exist to ensure that a minimum level of security and preservation are achieved, none are as effective as custodial occupation of the building.”
The report added that the “rustic appearance” of the new three-bedroom home, replacing the outbuilding, would complement the main building.
Nine comments were received from the public on the plans, in addition to responses from official consultees.
As is standard, a condition requires the project to start within three years. We’ll ask agent Allen Planning whether there is any news yet on timings.
Papers filed with the planning application said that attempts were made to sell the site as a pub, but that these were unsuccessful.
Watch the planning meeting (video will start in correct place).
16/02619F– planning application
16/02620LBC – listed building consent application