PLANS to convert an empty shop in Rye’s Ferry Road into a private home could threaten the future of a popular pub.
The empty shop, at 1 Ferry Road, shares an adjoining wall with the listed Crown Inn and there are concerns that if it becomes a private home it would lead to noise complaints against the pub.
Rye Town Council’s planning committee, which met to discuss the application on Monday evening, has received around 30 letters of objection from the pub and other residents.
Chairman Bernardine Fiddimore said: “That is an extraordinary number of letters for us to receive on any application.”
Ferry Road resident Sylvia Garcia said: “There is insufficient parking and a conflict in the pattern of development as all other units in that area are commercial.
“Should there be complaints about noise from the pub next door it could threaten the livelihood of the pub which has been there since 1835.”
Cllr Michael Boyd said: “It is not as if there is no demand for these small retail units.
“I know personally of at least two people who are looking for commercial premises of this type.”
Cllr Jonathan Breeds said: “We don’t like to see the loss of commercial premises in Rye or new residential premises that do not have parking.”
The committee heard from the pub who say they do all they can to reduce noise, including employing a doorman and preventing customers from drinking outside the front of the pub, but they say a rear courtyard, which is popular with drinkers and smokers, backs onto the wall of 1 Ferry Road.
Agent Andrew Gerken, acting for the applicants, said: “The shop unit is currently being advertised for rent but unfortunately very little interest has been received.
“It is considered that if the property was converted it would be loved and cherished better as a home.”
Rye Council’s planning committee refused the application but planners at Rother District Council will have the final say.