Subject: Future of the Cock Inn
I have been contacted by concerned local residents over the future of the Cock Inn in Ide Hill, and in particular the conflicting planning advice given out by Sevenoaks District Council, as reported in the Chronicle.
As a long standing member of the Campaign for Real Ale, as well as the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Sevenoaks, I would like to support and echo their concerns. Local pubs are crucial to preserving and protecting the vitality of our local villages such as Sundridge and Ide Hill, and indeed, Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland has championed those under threat as Assets of Community Value, with accompanying legislation.
Sadly some of the big brewers still try and get round badly worded planning guidance from local authorities on what can and cannot be done to historic village pubs, even when they are listed buildings. How many more much-loved village pubs will be desecrated by such moves, which the locals often discover only too late in the day to remedy the damage already done?
Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Sevenoaks