Plans Submitted for Development of Railway Arms Pub
Chairman’s Update – Sept 2018
After several months of inactivity, Railway Arms owners Charles Wells have finally put their proposals for the pub to the planners at Uttlesford District Council. Almost 19 months since the pub closed, their plans are in the public domain and are now open to scrutiny.
The plans outline a scheme which would effectively isolate the main Railway Arms pub building from its ACV(Asset of Community Value)-recognised, and much loved, garden and from its associated local heritage listed stables, cartshed and workshop buildings. The scheme would establish new boundaries around just the pub and the car park, the latter becoming a ‘courtyard garden’ with raised decking and a timber pergola. Structural changes to the main historic building will see original sash windows become doorways into the courtyard and on the first floor, to accommodate a reworking of the fire escape necessitated by a new toilet block.
Commenting on behalf of STRAP (Save The Railway Arms Pub), Chairman Dave Kenny stated ‘We have to ask ourselves whether it is pure coincidence that the new toilet block extends just far enough to present a hard barrier between the pub, its store and its outside covered area, and the garden. Such a hard barrier giving onto a private yard might provide just the sort of seclusion that a developer could benefit from when considering how to put the now isolated garden to use. Rather than allow the green open space it currently provides, it would effectively become wasteland and would provide the ammunition for a future application to develop the current beer garden for housing. The cynics amongst us might note that the profit from such a venture would more than cover the costs of the current reworking and, when the same logic is applied to the fenced off historic stables, cartshed and workshop the numbers really do add up.’
‘STRAP would like you to make your own mind up and I’ll say no more now other than to point you towards the UDC website and your democratic right to comment on these proposals before the deadline of 4th October. UDC will decide the matter by 2nd November at the latest.’
The planning application can be viewed, and commented upon, on the UDC website. Just go to the following link and enter the reference UTT/18/2454/FUL.
On Sunday 30th September, STRAP will be hosting a ‘drop by session’ on Station Rd/Station St outside the Railway to examine the plans on the ground, from the street with large scale drawings to view. The event will commence at 11.00am
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‘From the towns all Inns have been driven: from the villages most…. Change your hearts or you will lose your Inns and you will deserve to have lost them. But when you have lost your Inns drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England.’
HILAIRE BELLOC, This and That and The Other, 1912
(ALAN COLLARD, STRAP Public Meeting, Saffron Walden Town Hall, 19th April 2017)