Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Village keen to see pub reopen

VILLAGERS could be willing to take over The Horns pub in Crazies Hill if Brakspear decided to sell it.

VILLAGERS could be willing to take over The Horns pub in Crazies Hill if Brakspear decided to sell it.

The pub was closed in February when landlords John and Sarah Schlaefli left after just 18 months in charge. They were the sixth tenants at the pub in as many years.

Brakspear has said the pub is not for sale but Crazies Hill Residents? Association has discussed registering it as an asset of community value with Wokingham Borough Council.

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.

Tess Dixon, of the association, said that ideally Brakspear would re-open the pub under new tenants but she wanted a ?fallback? plan to ensure the pub survived.

She said: ?We hope it won?t come to this but we want to do anything we can to protect it as an important part of the village. It?s a vital part of the community. Our priority is to see it re-open and hopefully with Brakspear tenants.?

Wargrave Parish Council supports the association and has agreed to make an application to the borough council on its behalf.

Chairman Richard Bush, who lives in Crazies Hill, said: ?We talked about it at council because we were requested to by the residents? association and CAMRA.

We were happy to facilitate that. We think it?s a good idea and it?s good for the community to have that chance.?

He said it was impossible to say whether enough residents would support a bid if the pub was put up for sale.

?It is like asking how long is a piece of string,? said Councillor Bush.

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said: ?We have no plans to sell the Horns and are currently looking for a new tenant to run it.

?We hope to re-open it as soon as possible and look forward to welcoming back the local customers who clearly want to keep the Horns as a pub at the heart of its local community, as do we.?

Mr and Mrs Schlaefli (pictured) took over The Horns in August 2013, six days before they were married, and employed 11 staff.

Mr Schlaefli gave up his job as commercial director of the Professional Publishers Association in London to run the pub, while Mrs Schlaefli combined the job with her commitments at her media consultancy, The Secret EA.

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