‘Lack of support locally’ led to White Roding pub’s housing plan
PUBLISHED: 10:43 27 July 2018
The owner of the last remaining pub in White Roding has blamed a lack of support locally for its failing fortunes.
The landlord of the Black Horse Inn in Chelmsford Road has applied to Uttlesford District Council (UDC) for permission to change the pub into a residential property, which has been met with objections from residents.
Mark Deakin, landlord of the pub with Sascha Chaston, told the Broadcast: “We are truly the people who want to save the pub. We were willing to put our life savings into it, as well as work for no wage or reward. The problem is no one told the local community what their part of the survival plan would be... they had to use it.”
Mr Deakin said that since they purchased the pub in 2013, they had lost money every year.
When the landlords started work on the pub, they found several major problems with carpentry works, with total electrical rewiring and plumbing work required. Extensive work was carried out on the pub according to Mr Deakin, including installing a new kitchen with £60,000 equipment and an extension to the rear and side of the building.
The initial estimate for renovations was £140,000 which rose to £270,000.
Mr Deakin said: “The way the locals have treated this business is a clear statement that they don’t need it.”
He added: “Last new year was, for me, the last straw. For the second new year running, the locals had said they will be in for new year, so we laid on extra staff, arranged free food, put up decorations, laid on party poppers and an excess of stock behind the bar.
“We opened from midday and yes the locals came in, they came in the same time as they did the year before, at 11.30pm.”
Commenting on the plans, however, White Roding Parish Council said that opening hours at the pub had declined.
The council said: “Over the last couple of years there has been a decline in the number of opening days and hours, and recently the pub was completely shut for over three months.
“As a result it is inevitable that the business will show a loss and there is now a lack of confidence in the current owners from villagers.”
The pub is currently open Friday evenings through to Sunday afternoon.