Monday, 16 July 2018

Pub has community value say councillors

COUNCILLORS are set to appeal a decision not to list a village pub as an asset of community value.

COUNCILLORS are set to appeal a decision not to list a village pub as an asset of community value.

Wokingham Borough Council has turned down the application for the Horns in Crazies Hill that was made by Wargrave Parish Council after former landlords John and Sarah Schlaefli left in February last year and the Brakspear pub closed.

It re-opened in July with new tenants, Adam and Sandra Purdy.

The parish council argued that the Horns was the last remaining pub for Crazies Hill and Cockpole Green and defined the identity of the village.

It said community groups including Crazies Hill and Cockpole Green Residents’ Association and the village cricket team used the pub as a meeting place and it provided car parking for parents with children at Crazies Hill Primary School.

But the borough council said the pub “does not further the social wellbeing and interests of the local community and it is not realistic to think that there will be a use which furthers social wellbeing and interests within the next five years”.

Residents’ association committee member Tess Dixon said: “Parish councillors and committee members agreed that the decision to refuse the application was bewildering.

“The conclusion flies in the face of a recent report by researchers at Oxford University that living near a pub makes you happier and can actually cut down the amount you drink.”

Councillor Phil Davies, who is also a member of the association, added: “People are incensed with the decision and have started to write in.

“I don’t want everyone to go directly to the borough council, I’d rather it go into a pot which the parish council can use as part of an appeal.”

Parish clerk Stephen Hedges confirmed that the council had asked for details of how to appeal.

Representations in favour of the pub can be emailed to Assets of community value were introduced in the 2011 Localism Act and give communities six months to bid on a property before it can be sold on the open market.

* What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, Station Road, Henley, RG9 1AD or email

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