The Inn in Woodbridge has been granted planning permission thanks to Planning Direct. 

The business owners sought to change the use of their existing frontage from a car park to a seating area. Thanks to Planning Direct, patrons of the hotel may now be able to enjoy the fresh air at one of the eight tables that this acclaimed public house and hotel has been granted permission to place outside where there were once four on-street parking bays.

The Pub is a 17th century Coaching Inn located in the centre of the historic market town of Woodbridge, Suffolk.  Set on Market Hill, the hotel and popular local drinking establishment overlooks the Shire Hall and St Mary’s Church, both of which are Grade I listed.

The wider Market Hill area within which the site sits includes a mix of commercial, retail and residential properties. The majority of these buildings are listed, including the Grade I listed Shire Hall, prominently positioned at the area’s centre. Many of the businesses within the vicinity already enjoy the use of external seating areas, similar to that proposed by this application. 

The owners of this hotel had applied back in 2017 for the same planning permission but were turned down on multiple grounds, with the most problematic of these being the development’s alleged unacceptable heritage impact. 

Here at Planning Direct we are often approached by individuals and businesses who have had their applications turned down by their local council and are unsure what to do next. Just because you’ve had your planning application turned down by your local council, doesn’t mean you won’t gain approval with the expert advice and guidance of a planning professional.

The Heritage Impact Assessment written by Planning Direct and submitted with the planning application was able to successfully overcome the Council’s original misgivings in relation to the heritage impact of the scheme. The assessment included a description of relevant listed buildings and an appraisal of the conservation area in which The Inn is located. It provided important local and national policy justification for the scheme and, crucially, set out in planning terms why the proposed use of land was preferable to the existing set up. With a strong Heritage Impact Assessment such as this, the Conservation Officer was able not only to consider the proposal acceptable from a heritage standpoint but, in fact, to consider that it would provide an enhancement of the historic area. As those of you with some knowledge of heritage conservation may know, this turnaround from “unacceptable” to “enhancing”, all without any material changes to the actual development plans, is quite a feat! 

Could you benefit from the considerable experience of the team at Planning Direct? We could help you gain planning permission, constructing arguments to secure you the outcome you need. Contact us today for free, no obligation advice on 01473 793903 or email us at

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