New room plans for Bel and the Dragon recommended by parish council

James Harrison

James Harrison

New room plans for Bel and the Dragon get green light

Plans to add extra bedrooms to a pub in the centre of Cookham have been given the green light by Cookham Parish Council.

The proposals, which would see an outbuilding at the back of Bel and the Dragon, in High Street, converted to provide more guest accommodation received no objections when they went before the council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

The application, by Longshot County Inns Limited, the operator of the site, was for permission for five guest bedrooms.

A previous application made in 2014 to add six bedrooms was refused by the Royal Borough.

Objections at the time cited a failure to guarantee permanent parking facilities for the extra guests, as well as concerns over ‘potential implications for Sycamore trees in an adjacent garden’ and a failure to ‘make a developer contribution towards local infrastructure and amenity improvements’.

Although the 2014 plans made provision for eight parking spaces, two more than the minimum required, it was not felt that the 10-year lease to use a nearby car park owned by Holy Trinity Church was sufficient and that provision should be provided ‘in perpetuity’.

Revisions to the scheme have now reduced the number of rooms, as well as promising a 20-year lease on car parking facilities, which the applicant feels is acceptable as it is ‘equivalent to most commercial leases and there is no reason to assume that the lease would not be extended’.

Discussing the proposals, councillors also raised concerns about possible impact of flooding, particularly on guests staying at the pub.

However, it was felt that it would not be appropriate to apply to the guest rooms providing short term accommodation the same criteria that would be used for homes.

A decision from the Royal Borough is due next month.

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