21st century agreement on future of 17th century pub

Change of use to cafe, pub and guest house for the Anchor at Sutton Gault

Change of use to cafe, pub and guest house for the Anchor at Sutton Gault - Credit: Agent

A former public house and restaurant will get a new life as part pub, part cafe and part guest house.  

"These uses are considered acceptable in this location,” says East Cambridgeshire District Council. 

It means a new future for the Anchor Inn at Sutton Gault near Ely that closed on December 30, 2019 – the then owner blaming “huge business rates, no bank support and cheap chains ruining independents”. 

New owner Yi-Chun Loraine Tung plans to transform the 17th century Anchor into a café/guesthouse and public house. 

Planners said the Anchor is currently unoccupied and as such it could if left cause visual harm to the character of the area.  

“By bringing the building back into use, it will enhance the character of the area,” they concluded.  

The council said the Anchor has been used as a public house and there have not been any restrictions through planning on operational hours. 

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But in discussion with the environmental health officer it was considered that whilst historically there were no restrictions this is a different use and some restrictions on its operating hours should be applied.  

“It was considered reasonable that these hours should be limited to 7.30am until 11pm every day,” says the council. 

“There are no external alterations to the building and as such the proposal would not lead to it being overbearing or a loss of light.  

“The use may generate noise and a condition restricting the hours of operation; provision of mechanical equipment and no lighting is considered to address this issue” 

The building is not listed through Historic England; however East Cambridgeshire District Council have this on the ‘local list’ and as such is considered to be historic importance.  

“The building is recognised to be pre 1700 and is a good example of a traditional public house,” says the council. 

Flood risks objections, initially raised by the Environment Agency, have been removed. 

"It has been recommended that a flood warning system is implemented and this can be dealt with by way of condition,” says the council. 

“The amenities of the neighbours can be maintained by way of conditions, restricting the hours of use and there are no external alterations” 

The Anchor was reputedly built in the 1650s as a shelter for workers digging clay from the river.