Local News

Plea to Save The White Hart in Hamstead Marshall

After just 4 years of running The White Hart Public House, the owner has put in an application to turn it to private housing due to non-viability.

My name is Susanna Aromando and I know first hand how viable this pub is as my parents ran it very successfully for 22 years until they sold it due to retirement in 2004. It was a hub for the community, and as the local novelist Robert Harris has stated on social media, it was a big part of local leisure and tourism as the accommodation was full during Newbury Spring Festival and was often used by visitors to Newbury Races and other events.

Hamstead Marshall is a thriving community and The White Hart is located perfectly for trade, being less than 100m from the Organic Research Centre which has such visitors as Prince Charles (whom I was lucky enough to serve when The White Hart catered for this visit). Opposite, a mere 20m away, is also The Dogs Trust, which we are told receives around 4,000 visitors per year.

The White Hart has passed also two viability tests, including one done by West Berks Council.

Pubs have a lower retail value than housing so the temptation is to buy them at a good price and change them to private housing. So, 4 years is a great investment but should not be at the community’s expense.

Of course, there are many pubs that are not supported and therefore are not viable but this simply is not the case with The White Hart. In fact, in its last year of trading it made a profit.

The owner does not want to sell the freehold and therefore no one else can have the opportunity of buying it and making a go of it and there are many interested parties. This is wrong, when you take on a pub, you take on a responsibility for the community to make a go of it unless that is not possible but we must not be losing Pubs to property developers unless it can be proven it’s unviable and that no one else wants it!

Pubs are closing at a rate of 27 a week according to CAMRA, so if you enjoy a trip to a rural pub, please help save this historic and much loved pub by spending 2 minutes to send in an objection to planapps@westberks.gov.uk and quote case number 17/00103/FULD

Thank you for your support,

Susanna Aromando

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