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Coast finally clear for Seatown pub revamp plan
5:00pm Saturday 2nd March 2013 in News
PALMERS has been given the green light to refurbish The Anchor pub at Seatown after 15 years of waiting.
Fears over land stability and locals’ objections to increasing traffic have been obstacles in the past but now West Dorset planners have agreed the pub can put in new kitchens and toilets – two years after the application was submitted.
The work will mean the seaside pub will be shut for six months from October this year while work is done – a sacrifice landlord Paul Wiscombe thinks will be worth it.
Mr Wiscombe, who has been landlord for the past 10 years, said: “It is hard to say what it will be like being shut for five or six months.
“Obviously we are going to lose some trade but we are better off losing it in the winter – it is the best of a bad option.
“After a long wait talking and thinking about what it is going to look like afterwards, it is very exciting to see the plans on paper.”
He said Palmers had chosen ‘one of the top three companies in Britain’ to do the work.
He added: “It gives you quite a bit of confidence.
“It is a big risk I guess for the council to grant permission after all these years.”
He said the work was updating facilities to modern day standards with disabled access, disabled and more women’s toilets and a bigger kitchen.
He added: “The pub shouldn’t change too much to the general public, most of the benefits will be behind the scenes.”
The pub will shut on October 1 and be open again by March or April 2014.
Richard Edmonds, Earth Science manager of the Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site team, said in a letter that the area was becoming increasingly vulnerable to catastrophic change. He said: “It is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the defences will fail.”
Planning officer Andrew Martin said: “In assessing the issue of land instability the Planning Authority is entitled to rely on the advice provided by expert professionals on behalf of the applicant.
“In this case we have gone further than that and obtained our own independent expert advice.”