Residents in Uttlesford village move in to buy pub

PUBLISHED: 09:10 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 21:56 31 May 2010

A VILLAGE is on the brink of losing its last remaining pub after plans were put in motion to turn the building into housing. Owner of The Plough Inn at Radwinter, Jill McGivern, said she was seeking permission to change the use of the pub to residential.

A VILLAGE is on the brink of losing its last remaining pub after plans were put in motion to turn the building into housing.

Owner of The Plough Inn at Radwinter, Jill McGivern, said she was seeking permission to change the use of the pub to residential.

"It's something we have tried hard to avoid, but the pub won't work as a business because there's no demand for it," she said.

"We will get change of use, there's no doubt about that. Uttlesford District Council may not grant it first off, but we will get it on appeal."

The Plough Inn has been closed since the tenants left in August and the pub's licence was surrendered to the district council. It is now on the market for £425,000 through Sidney Phillips.

In a last-ditch attempt to save the pub on Samford Road, villagers are clubbing together to try and buy it.

Scheme organiser Dixie Walker said the group was "very close" to being in a position where they would have sufficient funds.

"We want to involve as many people in the village as possible so they will be more likely to use it," he said. "The object of the exercise is to try and regenerate the community.

"When I first moved to Radwinter there were three pubs, two shops and a preschool. Now we have no pubs, no shops and the preschool has moved."

The community scheme would involve people buying shares in the pub for £1000 each, with the opportunity to buy multiple shares.

"If you have a house in Radwinter and the pub goes, that could wipe some of the value off your property," said Mr Walker. "It's a good investment and we're not far off out target."

The Plough Inn, which was purchased by Mrs McGivern two years ago as an investment, has had three tenants in the last year. It has also been on the market three times and the price has been cut significantly.

"We've lost about a quarter of a million pounds on the business and we don't have the heart or the money to carry on," said Mrs McGivern.

"If the village want to buy the pub then they will be getting the deal of the century, but the bottom line is it won't work because people still need to drink there."

WHAT DO YOU THINK? E-mail us at editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk


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