A PLANNING application to increase the size of a Hampshire country pub car park has been withdrawn.

As previously reported, an application was submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority in July, proposing a “reconfiguration” of the West Meon pub’s existing car park and expansion to provide additional parking.

However, the application was withdrawn by the applicant, Mat Finch, on behalf of the West Meon Pub Ltd, on November 29. This comes after the application received several objections from residents.

The planning statement for the application said: “The application proposes the reconfiguration of the existing car park and its expansion to provide additional car parking to serve the existing pub. The pub is a substantial building with a capacity for 140 covers inside and additional covers within the large garden. It is however currently served by only 16 spaces in the car park to the north of the building which is inadequate for a business of this size and in this location.

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“It is therefore proposed that to increase the parking capacity of the site in a landscape sensitive way through the re-use of existing developed land to the east. The existing car park will be rearranged to provide 4 no. disabled spaces and will retain 6 no. spaces for customer use. An additional 5 no. spaces will be created on the eastern edge of this existing car park. To the east of the pub, 56 no. spaces will be laid out in two rows on either side of an access road which will extend eastwards from the existing access point on the A272. There will therefore be a total of 71 no. spaces. An area for cycles and motorcycles will be provided to the north of the existing car park.”

The future of the West Meon pub has been unclear for some time. Companies House records show that West Meon Pub Ltd was until March called Caffeine and Machine and has several of the same directors. Caffeine and Machine operates a coffee shop chain focusing on car and motorbike communities. The company has been contacted for comment by the Chronicle.

The planning application can be viewed by visiting the South Downs National Park Authority planning website and searching for planning reference SDNP/23/02695/FUL.