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

Woolsery villagers take action against derelict pub

PUBLISHED: 11:20 28 May 2014

Just some of the residents pushing for action to be taken against the Farmers Arms (pictured behind)

Just some of the residents pushing for action to be taken against the Farmers Arms (pictured behind)

Archant

Villagers say Woolsery has been left ‘without a heart’ after vacant pub falls into state of disrepair.

The Farmers Arms in Woolsery.The Farmers Arms in Woolsery.

WOOLSERY residents are making a stand against a dilapidated vacant pub which has left their village ‘without a heart’.

The Farmers Arms pub was once the ‘hub of the village’ but since closing in December 2012 has fallen into a state of disrepair.

Now its damaged thatched roof is covered by a fading tarpaulin and villagers are becoming increasingly worried at the safety and appearance of the building.

In March, Peter Hamilton, who lives in the village, successfully applied to Torridge District Council for the building to become a community asset of value.

“We want to see the building preserved and available once more to the community and visitors,” said Mr Hamilton.

“The nearest pub now is three miles away. It is like Woolsery has been left without a heart.”

Andrea Cann, who also lives in the village, was the landlady of the pub for 15 years before she sold it to the current owner 10 years ago.

“It makes me feel sick to see it like this – it was such a good pub,” she said.

“It was lovely and clean, painted black and white with flowers hanging outside.

“The pub was always busy, even in the winter, but in 2012 it shut for good and it is just so disheartening to see it like this after everything I put into it.”

Andy and Sarah Fryatt, who run the Costcutter store and post office next door to the Farmers Arms, said the closure had affected their business.

“We have definitely seen a decline in the evening business,” said Mr Fryatt.

“People used to go for a drink or lunch and then come into the shop to buy their evening meal, but now we have lost that trade.

“I think it has also affected the number of visitors to the area as well because they take one look at the pub in its current state and think it’s horrible.”

Villagers have set up a group on Facebook called the Woolsery Action Group, which has gained more than 100 members.

Mr Hamilton added: “The main purpose of the Woolsery Action Group is to preserve, conserve and keep the Farmers Arms as the public house for the community of Woolsery and its visitors.

“The community needs to continue to put pressure on the council and its representatives in order to succeed.”

Torridge confirmed that the owner of the pub had appealed the decision to make the building an asset of community value.

Councillor Philip Collins, leader of Torridge, said: “Torridge, together with the parish, has been aware of the concerns relating to this building within the centre of the village.

“An owner or owners of a listed building are expected to maintain that building in sound, secure and weather-tight condition.

“The matter is being monitored by council officers with all avenues being explored, and we are having ongoing dialogues with the owner.”

The Gazette tried to contact the owner for comment but was unsuccessful.

Other News Stories

29 minutes ago

Routine trip to Barnstaple High Street optician led to life-saving surgery in Bristol hospital.

Read more
14:42

‘Be alert, not alarmed’ is the message coming from police in the wake of the attack in Westminster yesterday (Wednesday)

Read more
14:32

Council is close to signing agreement for a short term lease with Parkwood Theatres to run both the Queen’s and the Landmark

Read more

Armed police cordoned off areas around Bear Street, Barnstaple, last night after reports of a woman threatening to self-harm.

Read more
12:28

Interactive map: Meet the North Devon runners taking part in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon and pick where you can cheer for them enroute

Read more
11:49

Open casting for the film, which is helmed by one of the directors behind the Harry Potter series, takes place in Bideford on Saturday, April 1.

Read more

Jenny Mills is fundraising for the walking challenge in June by carrying out odd-jobs and gardening for neighbours.

Read more

A Barnstaple charity is training clients to use naloxone, a emergency, life-saving drug which can reverse the effects of heroin in the event of an overdose.

Read more
10:43

Active Devon is working with the Dame Kelly Homes Trust to bring the Get on Track program to Barnstaple throughout April and May.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:37

Both Peter Heaton-Jones and Geoffrey Cox were in the House of Commons at the time of the incident

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°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