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’

16:42 27 May 2014

Villagers hope to see Bratton Fleming

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.

Other News Stories

13:42

South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is letting people behind the scenes ahead of one of their busiest weekends.

Read more
11:24
Councillor Sue Hayward and town clerk Will Austin outside Barnstaple Guildhall

Barnstaple Town Council has big plans for the Guildhall, but the historic building needs a bit of sprucing up first.

Read more
08:58
Chicken hen.

Hen evades rescue attempts but appears content in adopted A39 lay-by home

Read more
Yesterday, 18:06
North Devon District Hospital, Barnstaple

700-word response says there are ‘no red lines’ to reviewing services but ‘will not add to speculation’

Read more
Yesterday, 16:46

One lane of the A361 from Braunton to Barnstaple is currently closed following the single vehicle collision today (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00
Paul Crabb, the 2016-17 Mayor of Ilfracombe

The Gazette caught up with Councillor Paul Crabb for his views on what will happen in the coming year

Read more
Yesterday, 13:52
Coco is our Cat of the Week

With Barnstaple and District Cats Protection

Read more
Yesterday, 13:42

Police said the 12-year-old girl was walking home from school when a man approached her at the Gorwell end of Bear Street.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:51
Reuben Rodwell, aged seven, has raised £57.61 for North Devon Hospice by selling sweets outside his Braunton home. Picture: Submitted

Reuben, 7, organised fundraiser after hearing about the charity’s work.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:06
Supporters of the proposed cycle route gather at Saunton Beach

Campaigners call for a safter route for cyclists to travel between Braunton and Saunton beach.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 0°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

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

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications