Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust

Former White Lion Planning Application - Comments close on the 4 Nov 2014

Cobham White Lion (also know as the Vermont Exchange/NY Bar and Grill)

Developers are planning to redevelop the former White Lion on the Portsmouth Road (previously known as the Vermont Exchange & NY Bar and Grill). This is a Grade II listed building and is an important Cobham landmark.

The developers have submitted their planning applications to devlop this important site and propose to convert the imposing Grade II listed building into four flats maintaining the Georgian fa├žade on to the street and construct a large number of dwellings around. You can view the proposals on the Elmbridge Planning website under: Planning Application 2014/3752 & 2014/3417. Click here to go to the Elmbridge Planning website.

We are not at all happy about this and if the development is allowed to proceed as planned, the special and imposing Grade II building will be over shadowed. We shall be opposing this most strongly but our voice will not be enough and we need your support.

Please examine the proposal and if you think fit please object before Tue 4th November 2014 (was Fri 17th Oct and then 27th Oct but now extended to the 4th Nov 2014).

Objections could include the following:

    • The proposed flats to the rear of the inn should not exceed the height of the inn itself. The inn dominates the turning of the Portsmouth road and the architectural hierarchy of what remains of this historic turning should not be undermined by new buildings which fail to respect the historic scale of the built environment. The proposed new buildings are of a poor design quality. The standard of design should be set by the historic assets already on the site. At present the proposed buildings would harm the Grade II listed building, rather than enhance it. This is a prominent public site and high quality design will be needed if it is to make the same positive contribution to the built environment that the existing inn makes.
    • The demolition of an 18th century building within the curtilage of the Grade II listed building. The developers are saying that this outbuilding is probably late 19th century but this is incorrect . Any proposals for the site should respect the contextual value of the whole historic entity of the inn, yard and ancillary buildings. The proposal to demolish the older of the outbuildings at the rear is especially concerning. This building had undergone some alteration over the centuries but it appears on maps from the late eighteenth century and is a survivor of part of the inn's former coach yard. Demolishing the outbuilding removes one of the few remaining elements of the inns connection with its coaching past and divorces the Grade II listed building from a key element of its historic context.
    • Potential damage to the historic fabric of the main building. This is timber framed and dates from c. 1580.
    • It is essential that before any work is undertaken that Elmbridge ensure that a full archaeological survey is undertaken - a watching brief is not good enough.

Please consider supporting us in conserving this vitally important landmark; we are not against sensitive development but this is insensitive and of the worst kind.

Objections can be sent via email in your own words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. quoting the above planning numbers and do not forget to include your name and address. Alternatively please post your letters to the Planning Department at Elmbridge Borough Council, High Street, Esher KT10 9SD.

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