Anger over closure threat to Redbourn village pub

A THRIVING pub in Redbourn has been earmarked for closure to make way for housing.

The Bell & Shears pub on the High Street, previously owned by Enterprise Inns, was put on the market last summer and successful bidders Jarvis Homes Ltd have lodged a planning application to subdivide the building into two new dwellings.

A decision on the application is due to be made within the next couple of weeks but landlady Julie Webb, who lives at the pub with her three children and three dogs, said that she would be devastated if the pub was to close.

Julie, who said that the developers also intend to build five new homes in the pub’s back garden, said: “I serve regulars who have been drinking here for 56 years and it would be such a shame to see our little community crumble. We are at the hub of Redbourn life and I don’t know where our customers would meet if it weren’t for The Bell & Shears.”

She added: “The building has such character and there’s also a fantastic garden out the back which is great for families in the summer.

“These types of pubs are dying all over the country and I want to do everything I can to try and save it.”

One regular customer Graham Pryke, of Holts Meadow, said that The Bell & Shears was part of his family’s heritage: “I had my first legal pint of beer at what was then the Red Lion pub 45 years ago and I’ve been going back ever since. My three boys grew up with it as their trusty local and they are all in their 30s now! I’m so upset that it might be going for the sake of yet more development,”

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Graham, a 63-year-old chef manager who works in Harpenden, said that Julie had transformed the Bell & Shears for the better. “It used to be quite a rough pub but Julie has turned it around over the past six months. She’s become a firm friend of the village and she makes our eating and drinking a thoroughly pleasant experience.”

As well as serving pub grub every day, The Bell & Shears also hosts regular nights of entertainment and Graham, who has seen four Redbourn pubs close during his lifetime, said that The Bell & Shears was always busy, especially on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

The planning application is due to go before committee next Monday.