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Peer pays 400,000 for village pub
Published 18/08/14



A pub in Binfield Heath has been saved after being bought by the Phillimore Estate.

The Bottle and Glass in Harpsden Road, which is currently closed, was sold by Brakspear for more than 400,000.

Adrian Beales, the agent who handled the purchase for the estate, said: “I think Brakspear actually put it on the market over a year ago even when it was still letting it temporarily.

“I brought it to the attention of the estate, who initially didn’t jump at the chance. They reconsidered it and thought they would like to try to effectively help the community and try to save it as a pub.

“They are the biggest landowner in the area and just like to make a community-spirited approach to the way they do things and interact.”


Mr Beales said the estate planned to extend the pub and refurbish the interior and hoped to submit a planning application within the next couple of months. But he stressed this was a “sensitive” issue as the pub is in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a Grade II listed building.

The pub would be let and it was hoped the tenant would sell beer from the Loddon Brewery, which is brewed on the estate in Dunsden.

Binfield Heath Parish Council said it was “delighted” at the purchase.

In a statement, chairman Paul Rollason said: “The listed building will be extended and refurbished in order to ensure its viability both as a community facility and a viable business.

“Once planning permission has been agreed and the necessary works completed, the pub will re-open. Your parish council has been working on this issue for the past 18 months and we consider this to be the best possible outcome. We look forward to working with the estate on the project.”

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said: “I’m delighted that it’s going to be a pub and I wish it every success for the future.”

The purchase is the latest twist in the history of the Bottle and Glass, which has had several landlords in recent years.

The council registered the pub as an asset of community value with South Oxfordshire District Council before Christmas. This power was introduced in the 2011 Localism Act and gives communities six months to bid on a property before it can be sold on the open market.

In February marketing director Max Tilney announced plans to re-open the pub and run it himself.

Mr Tilney, who now lives in Gallowstree Common with his wife Rebecca, said he used to drink in the pub when he was younger and said it “deserves a future”.

He planned to carry out a survey to gauge interest in a community bid for the pub.

At the time, he said: “If they aren’t interested we will know it’s probably not a viable business.”

The most recent landlord was former Goring parish councillor Anthony Ewen, who vowed to turn it around when he took over in April last year. He quit after three months to focus on his holiday business.

Before that, Graham and Jill Hughes ran the pub for almost a year. When they left, the couple said they had lost more than 35,000 because villagers did not support the pub.

The Phillimore family own a 3,500-acre estate covering Dunsden, Binfield Heath, Sonning Eye and Shiplake. Lord Phillimore, a retired barrister, also holds the title of the fifth Baron Phillimore.

Published 18/08/14

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