Palmers Brewery are aiming to make a significant investment improving two of their most popular pubs, The Anchor Inn in Seatown and The New Inn in Cerne Abbas.
The Bridport brewery has submitted planning applications to rebuild the kitchen and toilets at The Anchor and carry out a substantial refurbishment to The New Inn. The work at The New Inn alone will cost more than half a million pounds and will restore the 16th-century coaching inn to its past glory, increasing the number of guest rooms from six to 11 and making them some of the most prestigious guest rooms in a Palmers’ pub.
At The Anchor in Seatown, improvements are desperately needed to cope with the level of visitors during the tourist season. The historic beachside pub enjoys one of the most atmospheric settings on the Jurassic Coast.
Anchor landlord Paul Wiscombe said: ‘We only have one ladies loo and we get a lot of queues – in July or August it’s not unusual to have 15 or 20 ladies waiting. These new plans will create more toilets, including one adapted for access by wheelchair users. We haven’t got any disabled facilities at present, and it will be great to remedy that.
‘Better facilities will mean we offer a better experience for customers and that can only help to improve the image of West Dorset.’
In 2008 planners refused a similar application on grounds of land stability; Palmers have since obtained full approval for building regulations on the issue of land stability.
At The New Inn, landlords Jeremy and Vanessa Lee, have revitalised the pub and want to take the process further.
‘This will create something special in what is already an iconic building,’ said Jeremy.
‘The New Inn will still be very much a locals’ pub where you can drink great beer and enjoy good food, with the addition of 11 modern, comfortable bedrooms.’
Tim Woodrow, Palmers tenanted trade director, commented on the plans: ‘These exciting plans show Palmers investing in their pubs and working hard to improve the customer experience. The extra loos and rebuilt kitchen at The Anchor are much needed to cope with the current level of custom, while the extensive refurbishment of The New Inn will enhance the attractions of Cerne Abbas to locals and tourists alike.’
If West Dorset District Council grants planning consent, work is likely to begin in the autumn of 2011. Both pubs will have to close for a period.