John Dover, chairman of the campaign group, wrote to local papers with the update printed below. You can see it in the 3/8/2011 edition of The View From Lyme Regis by clicking here and turning to page 16. Look for the headings, Lyme Letters Extra and Three Cups wait.
"For several months now it may seem that little has been happening regarding the future of the Three Cups Hotel in Broad Street, Lyme Regis. To the contrary, Palmers Brewery has been required to prepare further in depth reports for West Dorset District Council and English Heritage as part of the pre planning application process.
Currently we are content for this process to take its course. Following our regular and ongoing meetings with the Leader and Director of Planning at WDDC we are satisfied that a thorough and comprehensive ‘due diligence’ process is underway and has in part been brought about by the pressure from Lyme residents and our group in particular. This process will determine the extent of demolition, if any, that Palmers will be allowed to inflict on this important Georgian heritage asset.
Palmer’s current proposals, in the public domain since last September, are to demolish two thirds of the building including the historically important rear section where JRR Tolkien is known to have drawn his famous drawing of the Cobb and where we believe Jane Austen stayed in 1804 when it was Hiscott’s Boarding House and included what is now Sea Tree House next door and still linked to the Three Cups building.
Considering this is a grade two listed building, in a conservation area, in an area of outstanding natural beauty and adjacent to a World Heritage site it will be revealing to see the extent these factors protect this important icon of Lyme’s literary heritage.
It is likely that during August we will at last know how far Palmers will be allowed, if any, to include demolition in their future plans. We anxiously wait to see how much Lyme’s heritage will be allowed to be destroyed or whether common sense and the effectiveness of the protections available to this heritage asset really do apply. We have recently seen how the Planning Inspector has rejected an appeal for demolition and residential development within a ‘stone’s throw’ of the Three Cups at Holmcroft in Broad Street. Let us hope consistency by the planning authorities continues to apply.
Our group will continue to strive for further constructive dialogue with WDDC and to achieve a positive outcome not only for Palmers but Lyme as well’."