Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Bratton Fleming villagers say pub is an ‘asset’

PUBLISHED: 16:42 27 May 2014

Villagers hope to see Bratton Fleming's only remaining pub, The White Hart, open its doors again in the future.

Villagers hope to see Bratton Fleming's only remaining pub, The White Hart, open its doors again in the future.

Archant

Locals launch bid to safeguard future of the White Hart but new owner says plans for the pub are ‘undecided’.

Villagers hope to see Bratton Fleming's only remaining pub, The White Hart, open its doors again in the future. Villagers hope to see Bratton Fleming's only remaining pub, The White Hart, open its doors again in the future.

PEOPLE in Bratton Fleming are hoping to register the village’s last remaining pub as an ‘asset of community value’.

More than 150 attended a meeting in the village to discuss the future of the White Hart, which has been closed since December 2012.

They fear the pub, which was sold by Enterprise Inns earlier this month, will never re-open under its new owner, local businessman Philip Milton.

Resident Trevor Hilton, a former pub landlord himself, said he had started exploring a possible community ‘Right to Bid’ but the sale of the pub had come as somewhat of a surprise.

“It’s the old case of hindsight, but if we knew six months ago what we know now, we’d have been three parts down the road towards purchasing,” he said.

“All the villagers know it could do a lot better. It needs to be more than just a pub that does food. It needs to be the centre of the community – the village hub.”

Fellow campaigner Michelle Dickson said that by registering the pub as an asset of community value with North Devon Council, villagers would be in a position to launch a community ‘Right to Bid’ should it ever come up for sale again.

“We held a meeting to find out if the pub was worth fighting for and the feeling in the village is that we don’t want to lose our last pub for ever,” she said.

“The pub has been the heart of the community for however many hundreds of years and the feedback we received was that villagers would love to support it once more.”

But White Hart owner Mr Milton told the Gazette his plans for the building were undecided.

“We are not planning anything immediate at all and are in no hurry,” he said.

“The only thing we may do in the near term is consider making the domestic accommodation within the place available for rent.

“Our suggestion would be that a compromise development solution is likely to be a very wise outcome, as opposed to seeing permanently closed doors for the village.”

Mr Milton, who said he pipped a Bristol-based property development company to the sale, said any plans villagers had to buy the pub themselves would have been ‘wishful thinking’.

He said: “I think the villagers are suggesting an enthusiasm which wasn’t there until after the event.

“Unfortunately there has been inadequate support from locals for the business for as many years as it has changed hands over the last decade and with insufficient support.”

Financial advisor Mr Milton, who also owns Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, said the White Hart had floundered due to competition from the village’s community sports and social club, as well as the constraints of drink driving.

“Many have tried to make a go of the business yet the odds have been so against them.

“The property would need a disproportionate amount spent upon it just to bring it up to an appropriate condition to reopen if it remained in its present format.”

A second meeting about the pub is being held in the village hall tomorrow (Wednesday), starting at 8pm.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

Police are appealing for witnesses after a collision involving a motorcycle, two cyclists and a Jaguar X-Type near Combe Martin.

Read more
13:57

Barnstaple was buzzing for North Devon’s annual celebration of everything delicious on Sunday

Read more

Filming is taking place at Saunton Sands today (Monday) for a new BBC drama starring Hollywood icon Hugh Grant.

Read more

Find out how North Devon secondary schools ranked in the latest provisional Progress 8 league tables, and how their scores compared to last year.

Read more

A new PoundStore in Bideford promising giveaways to the first 205 people in the queue has delayed its opening by 24 hours at the eleventh hour.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:58

Police say there is slow traffic between the Roundswell and Lake roundabouts.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:18

Motorists advised to avoid Long Lane area between Combe Martin and A39 junction.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:25

Traffic is coping well say police

Read more
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Weather warning issued as 70mph winds whip up massive waves in North Devon

Read more
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Police have reported a fallen tree on the road near Landcross as Storm Brian hits the region.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications