Cobham housing development under the microscope

This Is Local London: Grade II listed: The old White Lion pub Grade II listed: The old White Lion pub

A Grade II listed building in Cobham could be “dwarfed” by modern housing blocks if proposals are given the green light.

Beechcroft and Hunterpage want to convert the derelict White Lion pub in Portsmouth Road into 61 homes, with 37 open market retirement properties and 24 affordable housing units.

As part of the proposals, the building mass on the 0.68ha site would increase from 0.16ha to 0.25ha and landscaping would nearly treble, from 0.09ha to 0.26ha.

Access to the homes would be through the current entrances in Portsmouth Road and Between Streets, but it was unclear how many parking spaces would be provided for the development and what impact it would have on the roundabout outside the site.

Plans were unveiled at a public exhibition at the site on Wednesday, June 4, and Giles Brockbank, director of Hunterpage, was confident the development would be well received.

Mr Brockbank said: “Feedback has been reasonable positive. I think people are coming along because they are generally interested in what is going to happen to the site.

“A lot of the comments I have had are that it is good to see a use coming forward for the site and that it will be a use for a listed building.”

But some who attended the exhibition expressed concerns.

David Taylor, churchwarden of St Andrew’s Church, said: “One of my main concerns is that the developer proposes the demolition of some of the outbuildings at the back of the property. It was established a year or so ago that the grade two listing covered the back as well and I did write to the developers some time ago about it.

“I also think the scaling of the development looks too intrusive and it really dwarfs the building.” Peter Winterbourne, 76, of Freelands Road, was relatively happy with the proposals and believed it “could not look any worse” than its current form.

Hunterpage hopes to submit the planning application on behalf of Beechcroft within the next month, with a view to commencing development in 2015.

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