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Plans for micropub and flats at site of historic high street inn Old House at Home in Sheerness slammed


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A decision on the future of a “key corner” pub on the Isle of Sheppey has been delayed as councillors slammed the new design for flats.

The Old House at Home on the end of Sheerness High Street has been serving pints since the 1860s.

Old House at Home pub in Sheerness before it closed
Old House at Home pub in Sheerness before it closed

But after a turbulent period, which saw five landlords over 10 years, the pub closed its doors for the final time in 2020.

It has sat dormant since and plans to redevelop the site were submitted last year by Mr M McAllister.

Plans included demolishing the pub and replacing it with a three- and four-storey residential building, including seven flats and a micropub on the ground floor.

Any concerns of anti-social behaviour from the micropub were downplayed by planning officers who said they “tend to have less noise and impact” than regular pubs.

Despite its Victorian history and location on Sheerness High Street, the pub is not historically listed or in any conservation area.

Plans for the former Old House at Home pub in Sheerness High Street
Plans for the former Old House at Home pub in Sheerness High Street

But when debating the new flats on Thursday, Swale councillors were concerned about the design of the replacement flats.

Cllr Oliver Eakin (Swale) said: “It’s at the entrance of the high street so the design is quite important.

“The design is completely different from what is there currently. The original building is of good design and on its own has a historical importance.

“However, over time some of the more modern parts aren't great, and if I’m being honest I’m not sure which historical parts are likely to be saved.

“The design is slightly boring, it’s not going to win any awards is it?”

Clive Emson sold the Old House at Home pub in Sheerness High Street
Clive Emson sold the Old House at Home pub in Sheerness High Street

Meanwhile Cllr Monique Bonnie (Independent) went further and suggested delaying proceedings until a better design was on the table: “I know this end of the high street quite well.

“I really don’t like the design and I’m going to be radical, I’m going to go as far as proposing a deferral.

“The principle of development here I don’t have a problem with, nor having a micropub or residential flats. I do have a problem with that design.

“This is a fundamental key corner of our high street to me, and if we don’t get that design right then we undermine the rest of the high street.

“I think it looks a bit cheap quite honestly, it’s very bland. There is some repetition along the high street with its historic buildings, I think something more imaginative could be done.”

Eventually councillors voted to defer the plans with 13 in favour and one against.

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