A once popular restaurant is said to be scheduled for demolition and shop and several homes are to be built on the location instead. It has been a few months since the Old Polegate Station Restaurant at Station Road was closed and now developers are planning to bring it down and put up a Co-op convenience store which will have 20 new flats on top of it. This application was submitted to the Wealden District Council planners on behalf of Geko Developments Limited.
According to the developers, the building is one of many stations that were built in the 19th century that aren’t listed and that it has little architectural or historic interest since it has undergone a number of conversions in the years that have passed including remodelling after a large fire burned through the building a number of years past. The developers are apparently looking to put up a mixed use development that will include flats plus a Southern Co-op store according to their spokesperson. The spokesperson also stated that the developer’s view was that the building currently in place doesn’t have much ‘architectural merit’ especially since the brickwork had been painted one too many times. The paint, apparently, can’t be removed without damaging the brickwork and thus the developers feel that the building can’t be restored.
The application had a plan for 23 flats (one, two and three bedrooms) and it also had 23 parking spots. There were also 12 parking spots for customers that were intended for people who’d be using the store. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the former railway station was opened up as a restaurant. In the most recent years, the restaurant was run by Tony and Karen Wyman, a husband and wife. A fire broke out in the restaurant on a September morning in 2013 and it remained closed until the January of the following year.
When the building was put up, it was the second railway station being put up in Polegate. Due to its location, it was quite an important junction and served as a railway station until 1986 which was around the time the station was turned into a restaurant. The restaurant became quite popular among the people living nearby and even others from out of town. It was described as a great place to get a good home-cooked meal and some of the customers had been going there for more than ten years.