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18th century Plough Inn pub in Brabourne could be demolished to make way for homes

An 18th century village pub will be demolished if plans to build four new homes on the site are approved.

Developers want to bulldoze The Plough Inn in Lees Road, Brabourne, near Ashford, to make way for the three-bed semi-detached properties.

Shepherd Neame boarded up the unlisted pub earlier this year and put it on the market with a freehold guide price of £250,000.

The Plough Inn at Brabourne was boarded up earlier this year
The Plough Inn at Brabourne was boarded up earlier this year

It was bought by development company DD Brothers Limited, which paid close to £400,000.

Former bricklayer David Derrick, who lives in Kennington, Ashford, submitted the planning application last month.

He said: “There have been a lot of unsubstantiated claims and rumours about the history of the pub.

“I’ve had several people tell me the Duke of Wellington and Princess Anne drank there, but none of that has been proven as fact.

“There is a national shortage of homes - there is not a national shortage of pubs.

What the development could look like
What the development could look like

“We spent a lot of time exploring different options when we first purchased the site, but from a commercial perspective the site is just not viable as a pub.

“We don’t feel we have rammed in too many homes - we have spaced them out nicely.”

Mr Derrick says construction will start next year if planning permission is granted.

He added: “From a commercial perspective, we can’t buy a building and leave it sitting there empty so people can drive past and think about the old days.

“People were saying about turning it into a place for tea and cakes but if it didn’t work as a pub, it wouldn't work as a tearoom.

“I have worked my way up and I am self-funded - people need nice quality homes.”

The Plough Inn at Brabourne
The Plough Inn at Brabourne

Michael Hinchliffe, of Plain Road in Smeeth, says the pub needs to be saved.

He said: “This building is part of the history of Brabourne and it’s part of the character of the village.

“To replace it with soulless semi-detached identity-kit houses would adversely affect the nature of our community.”

Village clerk Sue Wood says the development has come as no surprise to the village.

She said: “As soon as it was boarded-up, we all knew we had lost the pub.

Homes could replace the pub
Homes could replace the pub

“I don’t think the village is surprised to see the pub go, they were waiting for it to happen.

“We were surprised to see the pub isn’t listed as we think it is of great historic interest.”

At the rear of the pub, a separate application for five detached bungalows has also been submitted to Ashford Borough Council.

Thanet-based company GPM Design has applied to build a cluster of three-bed bungalows along with new vehicle access.

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