3:00pm Friday 27th September 2013
A VILLAGE pub that has been closed for a year has been sold to a builder.
As previously reported, the community failed in its bid to buy the Farmer’s Arms, Wellington Heath, but it has now been bought by a builder, whose name has not been revealed.
Parish councillor Patrick Adams said: “We have heard that someone has purchased the pub but negotiations have not been completed yet.
“My understanding is that the new owner will open the Farmer’s Arms as a pub and see how it goes, but if it doesn’t do well he will apply for change of use.”
But this interpretation is not being supported by Coun Richard Hurley, the council chairman, and Robin Mence of Sidney Phillips, the company which handled the sale.
Mr Mence said: “We’ve been told he will run it as a pub. We sold it as a pub.
“He’s a very nice chap, a local guy, with the best intentions.
“This pub is not under threat. Without a community order on it, it would have been opened a lot quicker.”
Coun Hurley said of the new owner: “We have yet to meet the guy and we want to meet him a start a good relationship with him. It is important to encourage this man as much as possible, because we are keen for the pub to be successful.”
The council registered the pub as a community asset and put in its own bid to Enterprise Inns, the chain which put the Farmer’s Arms on the market. But that bid was rejected, because it fell short of the £220,000 being sought by Enterprise Inns.
Peter Constantine, a key member of the village’s pub sub-group said: “Generally speaking, the village is sighing a sigh of relief; but we would like to know more.”
Enterprise Inn spokeswoman Amy Dolphin said: “We have exchanged contracts for the sale of the Farmer’s Arms. The sale is expected to complete this week and we understand the site will resume trading as a licensed premises.”
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