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Save our pub! (even though it's a bit crap)


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One of the attractions of buying our canalside cottage was having a pub next door.  It's got moorings outside,  plenty of seating,  a secure garden for kids and even a deceptively short winding hole to give entertainment on a busy day. The pub moorings are towpath side and also give access across the car park for visitors to explore locally.

It's never been a really great place though while we've known it, owned by a local chap he's had several tenants who for various reasons have never seen it reach it's full potential. Crap beer but good food.. crap food and no beer.. short opening times.. 

Aiming for meals during the early evening and locals drinking at the bar later, it's never done either that well. There's the village centre pub a 20 minute walk away,  that concentrates on being a drinking hole, and can get a bit rowdy when busy.

Anyway the owner has decided to chuck the bar towel in and has applied for change of use to residential.  This includes fencing off the car park area and blocking access from the road to the towpath, historically a right of way we believe.

His statement is a good read, although he says it's not viable as a business because it's never been busy enough to make money, he's concerned about the noise nuisance to neighbour's, and taking away customers from the village pub. Even going into detail about the village pubs history,  but forgetting to mention his own has been there since the canal was built in the late 1700s. 

Personally,  I prefer a crap pub to no pub at all, I think it should have to be offered for sale before any change of use is granted.

Even the Chesterfield Canal Society don't seem interested which is a shame, visitor moorings are few on this canal and they often use the car park as access for their trip boat. 

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1 minute ago, noddyboater said:

One of the attractions of buying our canalside cottage was having a pub next door.  It's got moorings outside,  plenty of seating,  a secure garden for kids and even a deceptively short winding hole to give entertainment on a busy day. The pub moorings are towpath side and also give access across the car park for visitors to explore locally.

It's never been a really great place though while we've known it, owned by a local chap he's had several tenants who for various reasons have never seen it reach it's full potential. Crap beer but good food.. crap food and no beer.. short opening times.. 

Aiming for meals during the early evening and locals drinking at the bar later, it's never done either that well. There's the village centre pub a 20 minute walk away,  that concentrates on being a drinking hole, and can get a bit rowdy when busy.

Anyway the owner has decided to chuck the bar towel in and has applied for change of use to residential.  This includes fencing off the car park area and blocking access from the road to the towpath, historically a right of way we believe.

His statement is a good read, although he says it's not viable as a business because it's never been busy enough to make money, he's concerned about the noise nuisance to neighbour's, and taking away customers from the village pub. Even going into detail about the village pubs history,  but forgetting to mention his own has been there since the canal was built in the late 1700s. 

Personally,  I prefer a crap pub to no pub at all, I think it should have to be offered for sale before any change of use is granted.

Even the Chesterfield Canal Society don't seem interested which is a shame, visitor moorings are few on this canal and they often use the car park as access for their trip boat. 

Do you have details of said pub? Location/name etc. 

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2 minutes ago, noddyboater said:

The Gate inn. Clarborough near Retford,  DN229JW. 

Look into getting it listed a an asset for the village..the exact term escapes me at the moment. If you go to the CAMRA website there are details about saving your local. 

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7 minutes ago, noddyboater said:

Thanks,  I'll look into it. 

Unfortunately already in his favour is that he applied for change of use when he originally bought the place around 15 years ago,  and got it. 

The rules have changed since then, the main thing is you need local support and someone willing to take it on as a pub or a community group

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32 minutes ago, noddyboater said:

Thanks,  I'll look into it. 

Unfortunately already in his favour is that he applied for change of use when he originally bought the place around 15 years ago,  and got it. 

But if he didn't enact the permission (close the pub and turn it  into a house) within the time stated on the consent (usually about 3 years), then the permission has lapsed and that's why he has had to apply again. As others have said, the context has changed in the meantime, so he might not get consent. But if there is another pub in the village the case for keeping your pub is weak.

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51 minutes ago, noddyboater said:

One of the attractions of buying our canalside cottage was having a pub next door.  It's got moorings outside,  plenty of seating,  a secure garden for kids and even a deceptively short winding hole to give entertainment on a busy day. The pub moorings are towpath side and also give access across the car park for visitors to explore locally.

It's never been a really great place though while we've known it, owned by a local chap he's had several tenants who for various reasons have never seen it reach it's full potential. Crap beer but good food.. crap food and no beer.. short opening times.. 

Aiming for meals during the early evening and locals drinking at the bar later, it's never done either that well. There's the village centre pub a 20 minute walk away,  that concentrates on being a drinking hole, and can get a bit rowdy when busy.

Anyway the owner has decided to chuck the bar towel in and has applied for change of use to residential.  This includes fencing off the car park area and blocking access from the road to the towpath, historically a right of way we believe.

His statement is a good read, although he says it's not viable as a business because it's never been busy enough to make money, he's concerned about the noise nuisance to neighbour's, and taking away customers from the village pub. Even going into detail about the village pubs history,  but forgetting to mention his own has been there since the canal was built in the late 1700s. 

Personally,  I prefer a crap pub to no pub at all, I think it should have to be offered for sale before any change of use is granted.

Even the Chesterfield Canal Society don't seem interested which is a shame, visitor moorings are few on this canal and they often use the car park as access for their trip boat. 

Some planning authorities would require proof of failure to sell before considering the loss of a commercial property.

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I'm sure some pubs are quite deliberately run down by putting a stream of sub par tenants to demonstrate a lack of profitability over time, easing change of use, etc.

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1 hour ago, John Brightley said:

But if he didn't enact the permission (close the pub and turn it  into a house) within the time stated on the consent (usually about 3 years), then the permission has lapsed and that's why he has had to apply again. As others have said, the context has changed in the meantime, so he might not get consent. But if there is another pub in the village the case for keeping your pub is weak.

Although the other village pub is currently open,  it's completely different which you'd hope would be taken into account. 

The canalside Gate inn was used by families mainly and often 90% of their customers would arrive by car - or boat - from neighbouring villages.  It's always been a popular overnight stop for boats,  indeed it still is and you often find people moored up making use of the outside furniture. 

That's why we hoped the local canal society would help fight our corner but they appear uninterested and happy to let another original canal building slip from it's intended and historic purpose. 

Of course the only thing CRT are concerned about are the visitor moorings,  but we all know what happens when a residential development pops up next to existing moorings. 

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2 hours ago, BWM said:

I'm sure some pubs are quite deliberately run down by putting a stream of sub par tenants to demonstrate a lack of profitability over time, easing change of use, etc.

 

I've seen this happen quite a few times.

Its sad when a mediocre but historic pub closes but its even worse when a good popular pub is deliberately run down so that the owner can make a quick profit.

 

..............Dave

 

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4 minutes ago, dmr said:

 

I've seen this happen quite a few times.

Its sad when a mediocre but historic pub closes but its even worse when a good popular pub is deliberately run down so that the owner can make a quick profit.

 

..............Dave

 

I saw it happen to a country pub of which we were fond, the Old Oak Inn at Horsley Woodhouse, the owner wanted to knock it down and build houses, so he deliberately refused to spend money on things like replacing a faulty fridge, in order to put people off going there.

   I'm delighted to say that it didn't work. Planning permission was refused after strong protests by locals (probably the only time Mrs. Athy and I have ever been to a protest meeting), and it was taken over by a fledgling local brewery, since when it has thrived (thriven? thriv?) and got even better than before. But it's probably an exception.

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You have to work hard to make a waterside pub fail but some manage it. In my village we have had the most popular pub shut for nearly two years because the owners wouldn’t let the last tenant make some modest changes so he left and went to a pub in a nearby village and made a great success of that. The greedy owners want £50000 rent a year and full repairing lease on a place with no accommodation for the tenant but 6 letting bedrooms and won’t allow these to be changed to accommodate the tenant. So 2 years later apply for change of use to residential. Refused so far but won’t entertain selling the property as a pub even though they have had 2 serious offers.

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3 hours ago, Dav and Pen said:

You have to work hard to make a waterside pub fail but some manage it. In my village we have had the most popular pub shut for nearly two years because the owners wouldn’t let the last tenant make some modest changes so he left and went to a pub in a nearby village and made a great success of that. The greedy owners want £50000 rent a year and full repairing lease on a place with no accommodation for the tenant but 6 letting bedrooms and won’t allow these to be changed to accommodate the tenant. So 2 years later apply for change of use to residential. Refused so far but won’t entertain selling the property as a pub even though they have had 2 serious offers.

Put simply they want it to fail. The place is worth far more as a house than a pub. If they can prove its not viable they will be able to get change of use to residential and cash in. Covid is his friend and he will likely get change of use if he persists.

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2 minutes ago, noddyboater said:

It's worth even more as a house with planning permission for another house in the garden/car park, which I'd take a bet is his long term plan. 

Absolutely.

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26 minutes ago, noddyboater said:

Hopefully the old right of way across the car park, which was formerly a loading wharf,  will put a stop to that. It's still used as access by CRT and fountains for bank maintenance etc. 

only needs a path by the fence to comply, no need for parking.

 

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17 minutes ago, Heartland said:

What are the plans for the Gate, how many back to backs  aka Wendy Houses, can you get in the space ?

I thought that back-to-back houses were no longer allowed. I remember seeing some in Sheffield when I was a boy, but even then (1960-ish) my Dad told me that they were being demolished because they were unsafe, or insanitary, or both.

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Predatory Developers, get around the stigma of the traditional back to back by calling them luxury apartments. Properties back on properties but they are not Back to Back now.

 

Regarding the Gate,

 

I recall that one of the cottages on the canal towpath had access to the pub yard, is that right?

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