Green light for chimney plans will help pub landlord clamp down on troublemakers

08:38 16 July 2014

The Ship, in Soham.

The Ship, in Soham.


The owners of a pub in Soham have been granted planning permission to remove a large chimney breast from the ground floor to help them keep an eye on a “secluded corner” which they believe has been used by troublemakers to stay out of sight.

Last month, Brewer Greene King applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council for permission to remove a large chimney stack at the rear of The Ship along with the associated chimney breast inside the pub.

In its submission to the council, Greene King said that the chimney had not been used for many years and was therefore no longer needed.

The brewer said that the chimney blocked the landlord from seeing all corners of the pub floor and that, in a secluded corner of the High Street pub, “certain customers have been known to participate in substance abuse”.

It said: “The proposed alterations at The Ship are to remove a large brick chimney stack externally and to remove the chimney breast structure internally at both ground and first floor levels.

“The original fireplaces associated with this chimney have either been removed over time, or have not been used as working fires for many years.

“The reasons behind this development are to open up the trade area in the pub at ground floor level, as the large chimney breast structure currently provides a secluded corner that the licensee has difficulty in monitoring, where certain customers have been known to participate in substance abuse.

“It is the licensee’s belief that this problem will be far easier to manage if the structure was removed and so giving them a clear vision through their trade area.”

This week, district council planning officer Lorraine Brown gave the plans the go ahead, calling it a “high quality of development that can be considered as ‘sustainable’”.

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