East Cambs planners refuse permission to turn Mepal pub into a hotel claiming extension fails to respect character of area

Three Pickerels, Mepal

Three Pickerels, Mepal - Credit: Archant

East Cambs Council has refused permission to Paul Kenyon to extend his riverside pub The Three Pickerels at Mepal into a hotel.

Three Pickerels, Mepal

Three Pickerels, Mepal - Credit: Archant

The council has been persuaded by its conservation team who are “struggling to see how the design solution has taken any account of the existing style or scale of the host building or the context of the site”.

A conservation report believes the “cumulative impact of the scheme on the scale proposed combined with a design that completely disregards the host property” is unacceptable.

They also argue that the relationship between the extension and the existing pub would create something “totally inappropriate”.

The report says: “There is no disputing that a change of use combined with an appropriately and sensitively designed extension could be achieved here. It would have the potential to create a truly unique and high quality venue.

“However the proposal as submitted would result in irreversible harm being caused to the existing high quality building.

“Consent should not be granted from a conservation viewpoint”.

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Planners agreed and ruled that the extension and other improvements planned “would not respect the character and appearance” of the existing building.

Mr Kenyon had put forward a scheme for several large extensions to the existing public house. He also wanted to convert loft space to create a third floor space for addition accommodation and to turn it from a country pub to a hotel.

Under the scheme submitted to planners the second floor would have allowed for six double en-suite letting room, a first floor bedroom converted for disabled guests, the conservatory dining room extended and a first floor staff flat.

Mr Kenyon told planners the business as experienced an upsurge in both accommodation and restaurant demand and has received an over capacity number of inquiries for bed and breakfast.

Mr Kenyon received tentative support from one quarter – the parish council.

They “welcomed the extension of activities and improvements” but they expressed some concerns over the impact on neighbours during construction work.

The council also had concerns over a possible infringement of a public right of way.

Concerns were also raised by district council planners over the proximity of a grade 11 listed building and the need to ensure any development of the pub took account of this.