Village pub preserved as viability case collapses

The residential conversion of an Oxfordshire village pub that has been closed since 2008 has been rejected following a ruling that it remains an important community facility.

Local residents claimed the pub had been a valued community facility in the isolated village. However, it had been poorly patronised in the three years it was operating under the appellant's control. The inspector noted that the pub garden, where children could play safely, was a valuable feature in itself and found evidence that the pub had been an important community facility in the past.

She found it unclear whether the business's lack of viability was down to the landlord's unwelcoming attitude, as some villagers claimed, or factors such as location and limited custom in walking distance. However, she had doubts that a marketing exercise had been carried out comprehensively. It had not been shown that continued pub use could not be economically viable, she concluded.

Inspector: Janice Trask; Hearing


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