Thursday, 24 June 2021

Former pub set to become house

A FORMER pub is set to be converted into a house after efforts to re-open it

A FORMER pub is set to be converted into a house after efforts to re-open it as a village shop and post office failed.

Brakspear has submitted an application for a change of use at the former Four Horseshoes in Checkendon, which closed in 2013.

It follows the closure of the village post office and stores last month, which postmaster Bal Budesha had been trying to sell for several years.

The pub company had hoped that the Grade II listed pub building could be turned into a shop, café and post office. A previous plan by a London couple to turn the Main Street pub into tea rooms failed.

Brakspear secured planning permission for the conversion but now, after months of delays and setbacks, it has scrapped these plans in favour of converting the building into a house.

The application says: “The retail use was actively marketed by Brakspear on their website, through email campaigns and in the company’s Buzz magazine.

“They have been marketing the shop since well before the application for previous change of use (i.e. the last 18 months). Brakspear had got a long way down the road with two local people who were interested, one of which actually signed an agreement before pulling out. The conclusion is that it is not a viable proposition.

“Brakspear have sought to work with local groups/interests to find a lessee for the former public bar area to operate as a village shop, café and post office. The parish council appears to recognise that this business model is not sustainable and they support our application regretfully.”

The majority of the site already has permission to be used as a dwelling.

Mr Budesha, who had said he would not close his business in Whitehall Lane until a new post office service had been secured, has been given planning permission to demolish his shop and replace it with a house.

Parish clerk Claire Dunk is negotiating with the Post Office for an outreach service for the village.

This would involve a postmaster setting up a mobile post office in secure premises with internet facilities for two hours a week. The Equestrian Centre has offered the use of its premises.

South Oxfordshire District Council is set to make a decision on the application by March 29.

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