Published: 18:58, 16 October 2020
| Updated: 19:15, 16 October 2020
The owner of a pub dating back to 1860 wants to turn the long-standing building into homes - stressing the likes of a nearby Wetherspoon make it impossible to ever restart the business.
The Foresters Arms, which thousands of people pass each day in Ramsgate, closed its doors two years ago and looks likely to never reopen.
It was sold at auction for £200,000 in 2018, with John Anastasio taking over the reins of the Boundary Road property.
Now, following two failed attempts, another bid to convert the pub into homes has been lodged with Thanet District Council.
Should the proposal be given the go-ahead, the old inn will be split into a three-bed property and a two-bed home.
The plans state there is no market for an occupier wanting to revive the business, therefore a change of use is the desired outcome.
The unlikelihood of restarting the pub has been blamed on a range of factors including the huge Wetherspoon at the town's marina, increasing cost burdens and the introduction of the indoor smoking ban back in 2007.
"The prudent move would be to use the existing building to provide some much-needed housing..."
Planning agents writing on behalf of the applicant, Mr Anastasio, state: "The outgoing licensee confirmed to our client that in their opinion the business was no longer viable as a public house, and that a significant decline in trade had been experienced over the last few years.
"Increased licensing hours of town centre premises has resulted in a shift in trade from local houses to larger town premises such as Wetherspoon.
"There are still a number of pubs in the immediate vicinity. This highlights, that due to the level of competition, it is highly unlikey the Foresters Arms could draw in the additional trade required to cover its rising costs.
"Since the smoking ban came into force in July 2007, there has been a sharp decline in trade."
Due to a lack of parking, the applicants say it would be unviable to turn the site into a commercial unit.
"The prudent move would be to use the existing building to provide some much-needed housing," the planning agents state.
"It is a well known fact there is a shortage of housing in the Thanet area and the provision of additional, good quality housing, provided with sustainability in mind should be welcomed by the local authority."