Planners Reject Mermaid Roof Terrace

The Mermaid Inn

The Mermaid Inn

There won’t be an outdoor, rooftop drinking area at The Mermaid pub.

Punch Taverns, who lease out the pub, had applied to extend the public area onto the roof above the restaurant. They claimed that it would bring economic benefits to the business.

They also argued that it was similar to the rooftop terrace at the Atlantic Hotel and an upstairs, outdoor seating area proposed for the redevelopment of the Harbourside Hotel.

But councillors rejected the application at last Tuesday’s planning meeting because of noise concerns and because it would create too much strain on the fragile sewerage system

Recently, a number of planning applications have been rejected following advice from chief technical officer Neville Gardner, who says that extra demand could overwhelm the sewage pipe, ironically in this case, known as ‘The Mermaid Run.’

Few councillors understand the technicalities. Richard McCarthy asked for more details about this “embargo” as he feared a large organisation may challenge a planning decision made because of it.

Richard felt it was better to be “forewarned and forearmed.”

Chief planner Craig Dryden said he’d ask Neville for, “more informed guidance and advice.”

Both locals and second-home owners had written to the Council to object to the planned roof-terrace because they were worried about noise.

The Council’s environmental health consultant had been asked for a professional opinion and Cllr McCarthy said it was a shame that they didn’t respond and was told there’d be little point in asking for one after the meeting.

Cllr Fred Ticehurst said he’d been stopped by locals requesting that the, “horrendous” plan was stopped. And Gordon Bilsborough added that it was a, “step too far.”

Whilst Council chairman Mike Hicks said he could see the attraction of sitting outside on the terrace, he acknowledged the noise objections. He recalled that when he had lived at Belmont he could hear a band performing at The Mermaid around half a mile way.

Cllr Marian Bennett felt that the noise from the roof would spoil spectators’ enjoyment of the view of the sunset over Samson from the quay. She felt that it was “precious” to many visitors who were the mainstay of our economy and anything that disturbed them should be avoided at nearly all costs.


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