A two hundred-year-old pub could be lost forever if plans to turn it into hostel units get the go-ahead.
There has been a pub called the Masons Arms standing on East Street since 1807, but a planning application to turn the ground and lower floor into seven bedrooms would see the historic front changed permanently.
The building owners – Pilotdown Ltd – who converted the rest of the building into hostel rooms in 2013, say the alterations to the exterior would be “minimal and retain the majority of the existing architectural detailing.”
Four of the feature windows would have to be filled in and a door altered as well as nine new low level windows fitted – changes Walworth Society chair, Jeremy Leach, described as “damaging to its magnificent Victorian façade.”
“We are really dismayed at the current planning application for the Masons Arms which will see it change permanently and no longer be able to function as a pub.”
Pilotdown Ltd pointed out in their application that they had been trying to market the ground floor space as a café or restaurant to let for two years to no avail and that the additional hostel units would provide housing to those who could not afford other forms of accommodation.
To find out more about this planning application enter 15/AP/3022 at: