Published: 06:00, 20 January 2021
| Updated: 07:58, 20 January 2021
The new owners of a long-standing Canterbury pub have unveiled plans to convert the site into homes - two years after "the police effectively forced the business into closure".
The Mill, in Sturry Road, is said to have become unviable when officers ordered that door security staff be employed every night as a result of heightened crime.
It closed its doors in 2019 - the same year a cannabis factory was uncovered at the property - and was later put on the market.
Following months of attracting little interest from potential landlords, it was sold at a cut price to new owners last autumn.
Now, Marcoz Properties & Developments Ltd wants to turn the redundant pub - formerly known as the Waterloo Tavern, Saxby’s and the Run of the Mill - into two flats.
The Chatham-based company says it would make no financial sense to bring the inn back into use, and its poor reputation would make it "impossible" to do so.
Documents attached to the planning application state: "Rather than being a force for good and positive service within the community, the pub has had the opposite influence and the police have effectively forced it into closure.
"It has been the focus of a degree of petty crime and anti-social behaviour, which has made it impossible for operators to succeed.
"Police set conditions on the licence which required door staff to be employed every evening it was open. The extra costs would have amounted to an additional £2,000 each week.
"Other conditions imposed meant CCTV had to be installed to cover the entire property."
The impending launch of the £115 million leisure complex at nearby Kingsmead has also been blamed as one of the reasons why it has no future as a pub.
Developers state it will become further "isolated" as a result of the city council's scheme, and The Mill will therefore struggle to attract new customers.
"It is considered that the provision of eight new bars and restaurants [at Kingsmead] will have a further negative impact," the plans state.
"These venues will have all the advantages of being newly built, centred together to create atmosphere and with a resident population and parking facilities."
The pub's small size is also described as a hindrance due to the inability to socially distance once hospitality venues are allowed to reopen.
The proposals to convert the site, which used to attract drinkers from the old Army barracks, into two flats are now in the hands of Canterbury City Council's planning department.