Bognor pub manager wants to keep business thriving despite demolition threat

Richmond Arms locals. Picture contributed
Richmond Arms locals. Picture contributed

The manager of a Bognor Regis pub is facing the prospect of seeing it demolished, but has vowed to do her best to keep it open for her locals.

The Richmond Arms, in London Road, could make way for ten flats if planning permission is granted.

The Richmond Arms, London Road, Bognor. Pic: Google Streetview

The Richmond Arms, London Road, Bognor. Pic: Google Streetview

An Arun District Council outline application details the demolition and conversion of the existing public house into residential accommodation to form ‘ten residential flats over 3.5 storeys’.

The documents for the plans (BR/142/18/OUT) include a ‘viability statement’ which stated the loss of the pub ‘would not be detriment to the local area’, which manager Michelle Mcallister thinks is ‘out of order’.

She said: “I was told a couple of months ago what was going to happen so I wasn’t left in the dark about anything but the news has affected my pub no end because I told the locals what was happening but no one outside.

“I’m in talks with the owner of the pub to try and get the rent down as I’ve lost quite a bit of trade over the last few months.

“I’ll try and keep it going for another one or two years.”

Miss Mcallister said the pub has ‘been in the family for a long time’ which would make it harder to see it go.

She added: “People may think badly of this pub but it means an awful lot to my locals, and they have been upset by the comment that the loss of the pub would not be detriment to the local area.

“I’ve been here nine years, but my mum ran it for 20 years before that. It’s been in the family for a long time and I want to keep it going. I just feel sorry for my locals.

“I’ve lost a lot of trade as there are new pubs opening in town but I’m just trying to keep it afloat which it is at the moment but it is very difficult. I’ve had no money in my pocket for absolutely ages.

“It’s a property developer so it will go ahead whether it’s this year, next year or the year after but it will take one to three years for the planning to go through.”

The comment deadline for the plans is August 2 with a decision due by October 2.

Click here for another Bognor planning story

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