Kimpton villagers bid to prevent Grade II pub from being converted into housing

PUBLISHED: 12:02 10 August 2015

White Horse protesters and sign

White Horse protesters and sign

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A last-ditch bid to save a much-loved village pub from conversion into residential use has been launched by local residents.

White Horse protesters and signWhite Horse protesters and sign

The Grade II listed White Horse in Kimpton closed in late April was put up for sale by brewery McMullens.

An application to change the use from commercial to residential has been submitted to North Herts district council and there are concerns that new houses could be built on the pub car park..

A Save Our White Horse campaign has been set up by villagers in a bid to get the pub retained to serve the expanding community needs of Kimpton.

The campaign also wants to draw attention to the profound public concern at the way in which the pub was sold and to protest at the loss of an important community amenity.

Village resident Doug Jenner said: “Kimpton is a thriving community with a growing need for public amenities. There is real anger here in the village that McMullens sold The White Horse without due consultation.

“As a village, we have had to act quickly to organise our response. The council received over 100 objections to the planning application and more and more people are getting in touch with us every day to register their objections.”

More than 50 active clubs and societies operate in the village, resulting in widespread local concern about losing a pub which has serviced the community for generations.

Kimpton resident Brian King said: “I approached the estate agents acting for McMullens, expressing interest in bidding for the property on behalf of a consortium of interested parties. I was informed that the brewery had already accepted an offer and would not consider a bid from us.

“I was told categorically that there was no prospect of the White Horse being developed for residential use.They promised to let me know if the situation changed, but never did. I was very unhappy to learn that the property had been sold for far less than the asking price, and that an application for change of use had been submitted.

“Further residential growth is already planned for Kimpton. The village needs more social facilities, not fewer.”

A decision on the ‘change of use’ application will be made by North Herts district council on August 20 and a village meeting is being held two days earlier on August 18.

To find out more or register support for the Save Our White Horse campaign, visit www.saveourwhitehorse.co.uk

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