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

Pub protesters rent claim thrown out by judge

14:31 10 April 2014

Protester Tim Woodger celebrates with councillors Val Monk (left) and Julie Hunt (right)

Protester Tim Woodger celebrates with councillors Val Monk (left) and Julie Hunt (right)

Archant

Case thrown out after pub owner and claimant fails to appear in court

PROTESTERS who occupied a Barnstaple pub set to be demolished and turned into houses will not have to pay rent, a county court judge has ruled.

Four residents occupied the Borough Arms in Forches Avenue for more than two weeks in February after plans were revealed to demolish the disused pub and build 11 new homes.

Tim Woodger, 37, one of the occupiers, appeared in court on Wednesday after pub proprietor Andrew Richard Hicks made a claim for a rent payment to be made of £84 a day to cover loss of earnings.

But Judge Waterworth struck out the claim after Mr Hicks failed to show up for the case hearing.

“Mr Hicks has a responsibility to provide evidence,” said Judge Waterworth.

“Because of his absence the court formally strikes out the claim.”

Mr Woodger said he was relieved after ‘a few sleepless nights’.

“It’s just bullying really,” he said. “If he truly thought he was in the right he would have shown his face.

“What gets me is this type of thing is going to happen everywhere. We’re going to lose these community assets that don’t necessarily need to be pubs.

“The world is going to become more of a social desert.”

Mr Woodger was supported in court by local councillors Val Monk and Julie Hunt, who are also stern believers that the people of Forches should be offered the opportunity to run the building as the new hub of the community.

The protest group have also nominated the current building, which has been empty since last May, as a ‘community asset’.

Chichester Homes’ plans for the Borough Arms site are due to be discussed by council planners in the near future.

0 comments

Other News Stories

13:16
Back at home after his ordeal - Bobby Bell with owner Joanne.

‘Unbelievable’ saga as dog leads owner on madcap chase around two villages...

Read more
15:48
Sunrise staff volunteers and members. Picture: Submitted

Community interest company selected from more than 20,000 nominations

Read more
The opening of Bideford's Aldi store this morning (Thursday).

Some keen shoppers camped out overnight to be among the first to enter the brand new Aldi store in Bideford this morning (Thursday).

Read more
14:40
Lloyds announced the closure of 200 branches nationwide. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

‘Uncertainty’ in the wake of the EU referendum is a factor in closures.

Read more
James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson filming Top Gear at Hartland Quay 2010.

New exhibition at Hartland Abbey on the role of Hartland in film and television for the past 82 years

Read more
14:15
Barnstaple's BHS store

The store is one of 30 stores being axed in the firm’s second wave of closures.

Read more

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident in Bideford in the early hours of Saturday morning to come forward.

Read more
Braunton and South Molton students at Kira Farm's guest house in Uganda.

South Molton and Braunton pupils have returned from a trip to Uganda with Barnstaple charity Amigos.

Read more
Lily Bullock, aged two, with mum Hannah and older sister Ruby, aged five. Picture: Sarah Howells

Hannah Bullock is organising the big day in Torrington after her two-year-old daughter, Lily, was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00
North Devon Council has more than £160,000 section 106 money in the bank. Picture: GettyiStockphoto

Money must be spent or paid back with interest

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 15°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