People beg council to save historic building in Emsworth

The former Spencer's restaurant in Emsworth.
The former Spencer's restaurant in Emsworth.
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RESIDENTS are fighting plans to knock down a 200-year-old building.

A planning application has been submitted to demolish the former Spencer’s restaurant at 36-38 in North Street, Emsworth, and rebuild in its place a two-storey restaurant.

But not all residents and business owners are happy with the plans.

Emsworth resident Ray Cobbett has written to Havant Borough Council to object.

He told The News: ‘It is thought to be early 19th century in one of the oldest parts of the street near to St James churchyard, so a new infill would be quite noticeable.

‘It’s not part of a conservation area although some people say it ought to be.’

Stephanie Elsy, chairwoman of Emsworth Forum, said: ‘It’s a shame to knock down all our historic buildings.

‘We have lost quite a lot of Victorian and Georgian buildings, particularly in the northern side of Emsworth.

‘If people want that building to be preserved, they need to write to the council.’

Chichester resident Laura Nix works in North Street and is objecting.

She said: ‘It’s buildings like this that give Emsworth character, making people want to visit our town.’

Emsworth resident Michael Bolt said: ‘The existing building was constructed in c1805. In 1811 it was reported that there were only 284 houses in Emsworth, this makes it one of the earliest surviving Emsworth buildings.’

However the project’s designer said the condition of the building raised concerns over how safe it would be to refurbish and extend it. A report says it ‘would be safer and more effective if the building were demolished and completely rebuilt’.

The council will make the final decision.