Article by Chloe Chapman: The redevelopment of a landmark pub has been halted after councillors turned down plans to convert it into flats.
Basildon Council’s cross-party planning committee unanimously ruled the scheme to convert the Rising Sun, at the junction of High Street and Sun Street, Billericay, into eight flats and build another apartment block on the site was out of character for the conservation area.
Developer AMD Property will now have to go back to the drawing board.
The firm originally wanted the new three-storey building, containing five flats, to replicate a traditional style, but came forward with a modern flat-roofed design following incorrect advice from planners at Essex County Council.
However, the developers were not told about the Billericay Design Statement, which clearly states flat roofs are not allowed in the town centre.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Andrew Schrader, Tory councillor for Billericay East"]I support the principle, but with this application there are four main issues. I find the shortfall in school places and the lack of affordable housing disappointing. I also have concerns about parking – it’s already a nightmare in Billericay High Street. I feel sorry for the developer, but the design contradicts the Billericay Design Statement and there is absolutely no way I could vote in favour of this, but I would hate to see a boarded up building in that prominent site.[/quote]
The 200 year-old Rising Sun closed at the end of August.
Article from The Echo, Chloe Chapman