An application for a premises licence to be granted for Palehouse Barn at Palehouse Common has been described as ‘preposterous’’ by Framfield Parish Council.
The council, which covers the hamlet, says the application should be refused in the “strongest terms possible. The impact to the local community will be devastating at the very least”.
Residents have objected too, with one describing the barn as having been a construction site for 20 years with any building work only ever being sporadic and incomplete so leaving an unsightly mess.
That resident says: “The owners have shown no consideration for the local community during this time, and the site is an eyesore and a blight on Palehouse Common.
“I do not think that someone who has shown such a disregard for his neighbours’ wellbeing and the local community should be trusted with a licence to sell alcohol on their premises.
“The applicant already has a history of late night gatherings causing disturbances, and on a number of occasions this has led to the police being called.
The applicants, Mr R and Mrs A Carter, of Palehouse Barn, have described the barn as a “destination gourmet venue, incorporated into a large private domestic property”.
They say: “We will be providing privately booked bespoke dining experiences, focusing on tasting menus, small functions and seasonal events.”
The licence would cover the sale/supply of alcohol (on and off sales) from Monday to Sunday from 12:00 hrs to 24:00 hrs, and late night refreshment Monday to Sunday 23:00 hrs to 24:00 hrs. (Authorisation for late night refreshment of hot food and drinks is only required after 23:00).
Opening hours are said to be Monday to Sunday 12:00 hrs to 24:00 hrs.
A report to the Wealden Council Licensing Sub-Committee which meets today (Friday, October 2) says the licensed area includes a limited outdoor space for on-sale of alcohol, and on-sales can be consumed anywhere in the licensed area.
Off-sales authorisation would allow a patron to take home a half-finished bottle of wine etc.
Wealden Council’s planning department has commented that there appears to be no planning permission evident which would allow such ‘food and drink’ related activity to occur at the site.
Framfield Parish Council’s objections include Palehouse Barn being a Grade II listed building, currently residential.
It says: “It can only be assumed that applying for a licence to sell alcohol is for the purpose of a commercial enterprise – and something that this property was not designed for. Therefore, it is significantly changing the historic value and fabric from an agricultural barn appearance to a pub or inn.
“This can already be noticed by the array of tables and chairs situated to the front area that is not in keeping with a residential property, and somewhat out of place.
“There is a lot of concern that approval of an alcohol licence in a small hamlet such as Palehouse Common for 12 hour of every day (seven days a week) midday to midnight will have significant impact on local residents and surrounding properties as patrons when arrive and depart.”
The parish council also raises concern about there being no footpaths in the area and no designated parking areas. “How will this be managed especially of drunken people walking along unlit country narrow roads.”
The applicants say that as the business will be food led the selection of the alcohol menu has been designed to enhance the customers’ dining experience.
“The nature of the alcohol that we intend to sell is that they will not appeal to individuals looking to buy cheap alcohol in large quantities.
“All staff shall be suitably trained for their job function for the premises. The training shall be written into a programme ongoing and under constant review and shall be made available to a relevant responsible authority when called upon.
“All alcohol shall only be sold or supplied to guests who have purchased a food package. All guests must pre-book in advance.”
The applicant have listed the ways they would prevent crime and disorder, ensure public safety, prevent public nuisance, and protect children from harm.
More information about representations to be considered by the licensing sub-committee from the applicants, residents, and parish council can be seen in this document on the Wealden website.
• You would find Palehouse Barn by turning left off Eastbourne Road, past the Rajdutt Restaurant, as you travel out of Uckfield. The barn is then on the left in Palehouse Common.