Wed, 28 Oct 2020
A village pub at the heart of a local controversy is now up for sale, following the withdrawal of redevelopment plans on Monday.
Current owner Nicholas Roffe acquired the property in 2018. The previous management had promised that it would continue to serve the Winterbourne community.
However, Mr Roffe instead sought permission to convert the pub into residential property.
This caused a local backlash, spearheaded by a 'Save The Winterbourne Arms' campaign.
The Planning Inspectorate rejected the initial proposals in January.
Revised proposals, including a small pub adjacent to the dwellings, were submitted in August, and were also considered unacceptable by campaigners.
Almost 100 responses – mostly negative – were officially lodged with West Berkshire Council.
As of Wednesday, the most recent planning application has been abandoned, and the premises are advertised for sale online.
The pub is listed with a guide price of £600,000, or can be leased at £30,000 a year.
Mr Roffe said: "The application has been withdrawn, to enable a marketing campaign to take place to satisfy the planning authorities and to give potential lessees an opportunity to buy."
News that the pub was back on the market was welcomed by the Save The Winterbourne Arms group.
Winterbourne Parish Council charwoman Jill Hoblin said: "During our campaign, we have always claimed that such a tiny drinks only pub was completely unviable – a claim backed up by experts in the pub trade that we consulted during the process.
"We are pleased that our successful campaign to fight the conversion on two separate occasions has resulted in this outcome.
"We are aware that the Winterbourne Arms has now been placed on the market and hope that the new owner will now refurbish the pub and reopen it so that it can return to the successful destination pub it always was."