The Smuggler Pub in Pett, Pett Level Road, a long-standing community pub until now, will be changing to a full-time GP practice with an attached cafe.
Sean and Stephanie Stone, who bought the pub from her grandfather about four years ago lived in the accommodation above. They tried to get permission for change of use to build a couple of houses but this was refused. At the same time an application was put forward from Pett Parish Council to try to register the pub as a community asset.
The couple have now sold it to a Hastings GP Dr Craig Namvar. He is a GP in several practices in the Hastings area. Rother District Council approved his application. The living accommodation on the first floor will remain. His argument was, considering that the closest GP practice at Guestling has had its lease terminated it would be a perfect addition in Pett for the registered patients and new ones moving into the area. It was argued that the GP practice and cafe were a community asset and value for the people.
Locals around the 85-year-old pub opposed the application for change of use as they felt it ought to be retained as a pub and community hub. However, Mrs and Mr Stone said: “for some time it was bleeding money” which they could not sustain. They felt there were several reasons for this, bad running by tenants and the development of more upmarket houses and weekend visitors. Also, there are a few pubs nearby which are actually doing well, such as The Royal Oak and The Two Sawyers as well as The Ship not far away at Winchelsea Beach.
Dr Namvar hopes to have the practice up and running in four to six months and the Guestling-registered individuals will be automatically transferred.
Image Credits: Heidi Foster .