The great British boozer is roaring back to prominence in Farnham town centre, with plans revealed this week for a new public house in an empty town shop.
Upper Hale freehouse The Alfred has applied for planning permission to convert the former Ruby La La clothes shop – and before that Breaking Free – in The Borough’s Town Hall Buildings into a pub.
It comes after an influx of liquid refreshment outlets in the town centre in recent years, including The Lost Boy and The Mixing Glass in Downing Street, The Castle Inn on Castle Street, and The Wine Yard in Lion & Lamb Yard.
If signed off by Waverley Borough Council, The Alfred will transform one of Farnham’s most historic buildings, the Grade II-listed Bailiffs Hall, into a pub focused on craft beers.
The Alfred's planning application states: "The Alfred Free House is a popular drinking establishment located within Upper Hale who are looking to expand their business into the town centre.
"This new public house will be focused on craft beers from British and International independent brewers. The addition of this business into the town centre is an excellent opportunity to widen the nighttime offer in the town centre with an established local business looking to expand.
"No.6 is a Grade II listed building part of a wider group known as the Town Hall Buildings which sit within a colonnade which is a key feature of the high street.
"The building is currently vacant and has been since early 2022. This is partly due to its layout and partly due to the limited visibility within the Colonnade.
"The change of use will ensure the beneficial occupation of this listed building with wider benefits to the town centre set out in this letter."
The Alfred’s expansion plans have already received the support of Farnham Town Council, which stated in its formal response: "Farnham Town Council has no objection to the change of use from retail to Public House. The detail of opening times, etc. will be reviewed through a new licensing application in due course."
Just one objection has been received to-date, from neighbour Jonny Groves.
Mr Groves wrote: "I've been a resident at the Borough for just over a year now and I've grown to love it. I was so happy when The Botanist turned into Jack & Alice because the level of noise and nuisance dropped dramatically which afforded me some peace and quiet in the evenings.
"My front entrance door is down a small footpath and it often attracts people under the influence. They seem to see it as great spot for many drunk activities, The classics are urinating, smoking weed and throwing up. In fact I had to call the police out the other day because a couple of lads decided to use my front door as a toilet.
"Unfortunately as a resident to The Borough I can't support the transition of this property into a free house because of the amount of disturbance it is likely to attract."
Waverley's target date for determining the Alfred's plans is currently September 20, but this is subject to change.