Locals object to plans to transform vacant Cambridgeshire village pub

The Stilton Cheese Inn, Stilton
-Credit: (Image: Rightmove)


Locals have raised a number of objections over plans to transform a former Cambridgeshire village pub. The Stilton Cheese Inn, in Stilton, has been vacant since October 2020.

Plans have since been put forward to convert the building into a dental surgery on the ground floor and private accommodation on the upper floors. The application also includes proposals to redevelop land at the back of the pub into seven new houses.

The development would contain a mixture of three and four bedroom properties and range from semi-detached to detached. Each house would have two car parking spaces as well as a generous sized private garden.

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Many residents have expressed concerns over the increase in traffic as a result of the new houses being built. Others objected to losing the pub, describing it as a 'community asset'.

One person said: "I am concerned about the amount of traffic [the development] will make. The existing houses near the centre of the village have no front gardens just a pavement between them and the road. We are being exposed to a sufficient increase of traffic noise, vibration and pollution."

Another commented: "It is time for planners to do something about the decline in what are local community assets. More effort should be made to preserve these places for the original intended use. This is a fine Grade II listed building and any change of use should be opposed. There is no reason why it can not be incorporated 'as is' in any development."

However, a planning statement from the applicants said that multiple attempts had been made to market the pub, but there had been no real interest from any parties. It added that any increase in vehicle traffic in comparison to the previous use of the site would be minimal.

The statement continued: "The proposed houses and flats will help to meet the local need for a mix of housing including family sized accommodation. The design and layout of the proposed residential development complies with the national and local plan requirements, in providing a scheme that is high quality and appropriate in the context of the surroundings.

"The proposed change of use of the existing public house building to dental surgery use would provide a valuable service to local residents and will seek to bringing it back to an active use and avoid permanent vacancy. This has involved bringing on board a dental surgery operator who has been advising on the specific requirements needed for the surgery use whilst at the same time ensuring limited impact on the Grade II listed building.

"The public benefits offered by the scheme in the form of the provision of an active use for a dental surgery, a use which will ensure the conservation of the pub, increased local housing, heritage benefits, and biodiversity gains. It is considered that these public benefits should be given great weight and that they would outweigh the less than substantial harm to the two heritage assets."

A decision on the application will be made by Huntingdonshire District Council at a later date. The plans can be viewed in full on their website, using the reference 24/00238/FUL or by clicking here.

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