Stoke Trister with Bayford Parish Council
Minutes of a Site Planning Meeting of
Stoke Trister with Bayford Parish Council Held electronically.
Present: All Councillors
1. Apologies – None
2. Declarations of Interest – None
Planning Application No: 20/03009/COU
Location: Granny Annexe, Unicorn Inn, Bayford, Wincanton.
Proposal: Change of existing self-contained annexe to separate dwelling.
We fear it may not be quite as straightforward as Mr Jenner suggests. A useful reference in Plainview Planning dated 1 September 2020 which states: ‘The sub-division of the public house can be justified on the grounds that the funds generated actually allow the public house/community facility to remain open’. The example quoted is that of sale a part of a pub car park but the principle is the same: the funds should go to keeping the public house/community facility open, not merely to enrich the owners to allow them to pursue other projects or simply to meet living expenses. Mr Jenner states that the owners wish to sell the annex ‘so that they can diversify’. I see no indication that they intend to use the proceeds of the sale of the Annexe to re-open the Inn.
We also have concerns over parking and access for the Annexe. It is very easy to state that ‘The development will use the existing access to the highway’ and that it will ‘use existing parking space and access’. This will presumably mean that it will require to share a legal right of access and parking with the Inn – there is only one way in and one way out.
The ‘separate application’ for the remainder of the Unicorn Inn is clearly fundamental to this application. Until we know what the term ‘diversify’ means – does it just mean the pub will re-open bigger and better than before, or does the owner have an entirely different use in mind? At the same time, retention of the Annexe may render the whole Unicorn Inn property more attractive to a potential purchaser who intends to re-open it as a licensed premises. This remains the last surviving pub in the Bayford/Stoke Trister/Cucklington settlement and we should not give it up without the community’s approval. It is their facility, after all, even if the Unicorn’s current licensee/owner has seemingly yet to re-open after either lockdown.
The applicant has made no attempt to re-open since the 2nd lockdown ended, not even to supply a take-away service as many other pubs in the area have done. Did he not apply for the Government grants to help and if so, why?
The previous application referred to did include the annex to be developed as a separate entity with separate access. The so called ‘pointless’ discussions were essential due to very strong opposition from the community.
The annex has been let out for many years without planning permission to do so despite every attempt made by the Parish Council to ask the Planning department to address. Planning department failed to do so. So, the letting is potentially illegal.
The Planning department categorically rejected the original application to convert to houses as the Unicorn Inn is a registered Asset of Community Value.
This all being the case Stoke Trister with Bayford Parish Council strongly oppose this application.