Verdict on village pub changes is put on hold

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A decision on controversial plans to build a food store outside a pub has been delayed while an environmental health report is compiled.

Proposals to construct two detached outbuildings, put up a 1.8 metre fence and an external steel flue at the Rose and Crown in Bridge Street went before Babergh District Council on Wednesday.

Members of the development committee chose to defer a verdict on the plans as they were unsure over the use of one of the outbuildings as a food preparation area for the pub, which would be 18 metres away.

“If I didn’t have enough space in my kitchen I would build an extension, not a shed at the bottom of the garden,” said councillor Jack Owen. “Is that a sensible and right thing to do?”

Ken Watkins, chairman of Alpheton Parish Council and speaking on behalf of Long Melford Parish Council, said concerns had been raised that the food preparation building would contravene health and safety regulations.

He was also worried the development would lead to a change in use of the Grade II listed pub, which had been closed for 17 months.

Case officer Alex Scott said pub owner Richard Grey had applied for the alterations to make the pub more “viable”.

Members agreed to defer a decision until an environmental health report was carried out.