Fringe Box



No Reprieve For The Forresters

Published on: 27 Sep, 2012
Updated on: 29 Sep, 2012

The Forresters in Cooper Road, Charlotteville, Guildford.

The Forresters joined the lengthening list of former Guildford pubs on Tuesday (25 September) when Guildford Borough Council’s (GBC) planning committee allowed the planning application to partially demolish it and convert it into homes.

Councillors last month postponed a decision pending a site visit. There was scarce mention of the viability of the Victorian pub, despite its position within a conservation area. The committee without exception appeared to accept that without a Community Right Bid, which was not available, the pub could not be re-opened or survive.

Views of nearby residents were reported to be sharply divided on the issue. Three letters of objection had been received suggesting that the pub was an important facility for the Charlotteville community and that it could thrive under the right management. Four letters had been received in support of the application saying that this was the best use of a dilapidated building and that residential use was preferable.

Debate centred on the problem conversion to residential units would have on parking. The pub will be turned into four residential units and as Cllr Sarah Creedy (Con, Holy Trinity) pointed out, each unit could be expected to have two cars.

Cllr Creedy seemed disappointed but not surprised that Surrey County Council’s highways department had raised no objection and as there was no GBC policy document that could be referred to objection could not be made on the grounds of insufficient parking.

Cllr Melanie Bright (Con, Holy Trinity) was unable to attend the committee meeting but her written comments were read out. Sympathising with both the views of local residents who wished the pub to survive and those who lived close by, and did not wish to live near a public house, she said she supported Cllr Creedy’s conclusions and also recommended that the application be allowed. She was satisfied that the historic architectural elements of the building would be preserved.

Click here to see also letter from John Redpath ‘Why Have A Conservation Department?’

Click here to see Opinion: ‘Does the Demise of Guildford Pubs Matter?’ (published last month)

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