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

27 minutes ago

The road is currently closed at Newton Tracey after a collision this afternoon (Monday).

Read more

Traffic is moving slowly due to a collision on the Link Road at Barnstaple - the day after it was closed following a three-vehicle collision.

Read more
13 minutes ago
The rock pool at Westward Ho!

The rock pool has been closed today (Monday) to be drained after concerns youths were spotted kicking bottles into it.

Read more
12:27
Barnstaple Mayor Julie Hunt and consort David Hunt open the Barnstaple Fair exhibition at the museum.

Memories of the fair from the past half century are now on show at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon

Read more
12:38
Retiring Parkham Primary School teacher Nesta Blaine rides the new ‘Rampage’ rollercoaster with Big Sheep owner Rick Turner

Big hearted Mrs Blaine and pupils take a ride on Big Sheep’s newly-named rollercoaster

Read more
Yesterday, 21:44
There was lots to see and do at the All Things Local event hosted by Ilfracombe's Tesco store. Picture: Tony Gussin

All Things Local event drew in the crowds on Saturday

Read more
Yesterday, 12:57
The scene of the accident today (Sunday).

Four vehicles involved in collision near Landkey with two people cut from their vehicles by fire fighters today (Sunday).

Read more
Yesterday, 09:30
Keira Martin, aged nine from Locksbeam Farm, Torrington, with her organic Ayrshire, Golden Oblique Snowdrop. Picture: Andy Keeble

Order your tickets now for the North Devon Show on Wednesday, August 3

Read more
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Survivors Catherine Eason, Lilian Bailey, Joyce Shipman from Braunton, and Adrian Partridge from Minehead show their support. Picture: Andy Keeble

Hundreds take part in Relay for Life at rugby club

Read more
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Barnstaple Park and Ride service by Park School is ending

Bus passengers who used the Barnstaple Park and Ride are now being directed to a new bus stop.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 14°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