Plans for local pub to become family home

The Chequers pub in St Neots could become a family home.

The Chequers pub in St Neots could become a family home. - Credit: BROWN & Co

An application has been made to convert a St Neots pub into a family home.

The Chequers Inn, in St Marys Street, Eynesbury, is seeking permission, in principle, from Huntingdonshire District Council to make the change to residential use.

Town mayor, Cllr Stephen Ferguson said he was “disappointed” at the potential loss of pubs which were a community asset and warned that more would be at risk if people did not use them.

Agents making the application on behalf of the pub and restaurant owner, said competition from other pubs with better footfall had been a key factor in the application.

Brown and Co Barfords, acting for the owner, said in their application: “The circumstances are that the 15-year lease on the Chequers Inn will shortly expire and the current tenant has advised he does not want to enter a further lease on the property.

“This is against the background over the past 15 years the viability of the Chequers Inn as a restaurant and public house has diminished due to the significant increase in the number and nature of new eating place in the St Neots town centre."

The application said: “The property is currently being marketed but with significant competition and viability difficulties it is considered the conversion of the property to a residential dwelling represents the best option that will secure a viable and functional use for the property.”

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The move, if it wins approval, involves turning the pub into a three bedroom house on two floors and the parking area made available for amenity use and parking by the occupants.

The pub, a listed building, is in the town’s conservation area, around 300 metres from the High Street.

Cllr Ferguson said: “I am disappointed. Pubs like this are a community hub and it is a shame to lose them.

“But it is up to the public to use them instead of buying supermarket booze and drinking at home. I am sure we will lose more pubs if people don’t support them.”

Cllr Ferguson said the situation was more acute in local villages where the loss of a pub could mean the loss of the community’s only meeting place.