A housing scheme aimed at preserving the only pub in Binsted has been approved by East Hampshire District Council.
Three two-storey houses will be built on part of the garden of The Cedars, in The Street, with the proceeds from their sale being used to fund single-storey side and rear extensions to the pub.
The existing access to the pub will be used to reach the houses, and a secondary access next to Ivy Cottage will serve the pub.
The Cedars has been listed as an Asset of Community Value, and is one of only three community facilities in the village, which has a population of 1,871.
Parish clerk Sue Hodder, speaking on behalf of Binsted Parish Council, said the council wanted to see the pub “survive, thrive and remain open for business”, but questioned whether dramatically reducing the garden space and losing the children’s play area would make it less attractive.
Joanne Hall, the applicant’s agent, said a viability report had shown that a minimum of three houses would be required as enabling development to generate the capital needed to improve the pub, and there was “a great deal of local support” for the application.
The district council’s planning officers, who said the density of the proposal needed to be “balanced against the benefit to the village in making the sole public house viable and sustainable”, had recommended approval of the plan.
They were satisfied that the revenue from selling the homes would be enough to fund the work on the pub, and that there would be no adverse impact on the South Downs National Park.
East Hampshire District Council’s planning committee agreed to grant planning permission for the proposals, on behalf of the South Downs National Park Authority, at its meeting on July 13.