Three years ago local people stood with common purpose outside the historic Red House in Whitchurch to show support for it to remain as a public house.
Since then the building has been closed by the owners, and it has deteriorated to a near derelict state.
This week the owners have submitted a planning application to commence plans to convert the Grade II Listed pub into two dwellings.
The owner previously gained approval for the building of three houses on the car park, claiming that it would raise funds for the refurbishment of the public house and the growth of the business. However after building and selling the houses he has not reinvested and has now submitted this further application.
Many local residents have been been up-in-arms over what is seen as broken promises along with a failure to sell the historic building for continuation as a public house, despite offers being made. It has been a pub in the town since the 1730s.
Campaigners are mobilising themselves and many comments of support are being posted on various social media pages. Meanwhile the Campaign for Real Ale has been asked for input and other amenity and pub-related groups are being contacted.
Local resident and campaigner Amanda Winch has said:
“The initial response to the closure and degradation of The Red House was vocal and had much support – we always knew this would be a long game and we hope that the town will again get behind saving this pub. If a grade II listed, 300 year old pub/ restaurant is not safe, nothing is!“
Local town councillor John Buckley said:
“Public houses have been an intrinsic part of the Whitchurch community and essential to its success as a vibrant town. In recent years the town has seen this eroded with the closure of several other pubs, which are all part of the social and economic infrastructure. With continuing expansion and further housing planned we need to support the retention of our local businesses. The Red House is part of that.”
Other comments on local social media channels included from Jon W:
“We cannot allow this to happen! I will be objecting, in a time of more people working from home we need more commercial buildings to cope rather than less.“
and from Marcus W:
“Hopefully all the people make their views on the planning site….it will make a difference”
“Up to people to make direct views via Basingstoke and Deane.
5 to 10 mins of peoples time will make a big effort.”
It is expected that the application will be discussed by Whitchurch Town Council before the decision is taken by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council.
The Application can be seen here:
If anyone can help or wishes to support a campaign to try and save this building as a pub, please be in contact and you can be pointed in the right direction: CONTACT
Apologies in advance if use of the picture with the crowd with leaflets outside the pub breaks any usage rules. Its source has been sought but is unknown and it will be deleted/acknowledged if necessary.