LITTLEHAMPTON looks set to lose another town centre pub, The Globe, after plans were submitted to convert the disused building into flats.
The pub has remained closed since last orders were called for the final time in November, 2013, with no would-be buyers showing interest in pulling pints there, again.
It was a victim of the ‘perfect storm’ which has hit many UK pubs, with falling sales, more people drinking at home, and rising costs of alcohol duty and energy bills, according to agents for the man behind the planning application to Arun District Council, Terry Smart.
If councillors back the proposal, The Globe will follow other town centre pubs The Britannia, The Locomotive and The Gratwicke Arms into the history books, all of them closing in recent years.
The Britannia was demolished to make way for a housing development near the harbour, The Locomotive has also been cleared and is awaiting construction of a block of flats, while The Gratwicke Arms was converted and extended for housing and business uses.
Mr Smart’s plans are for two two-bedroom and three one-bedroom flats within the existing building, with only minor alterations to its exterior, although some poor quality infill extensions would be demolished. The Globe itself was considered to be ‘of limited architectural quality’, the planning statement says.
The redevelopment would be ‘highly sustainable’, with the new homes located in the heart of Littlehampton town centre and only 200m from the railway station.
Outlining the case for converting the pub, the agents add: “It is considered that the recent trading patterns of The Globe reflect the significant headwinds facing the UK pub industry, including low consumer confidence, rising duty, increased overheads (energy, etc) and a shift towards home drinking.
“Combined with the long- term trend of beer sales declining 22 per cent since 1979, an increasing number of public houses, including The Globe, have become unviable, and have therefore ceased trading, with landlords unable to make a living.”
The pub was now in a dilapidated state, requiring substantial investment to bring it back to a good state of repair, Despite an extended marketing period, there had been no interest in the building as a pub.