This email was received by Penny Post on 17 January 2019. We’re happy to reproduce it here in its entirety.
Dear Cross Keys Supporter,
You will be aware by now that an application has been submitted by the owners to change the use of the rear part of the building to residential. This development is not unexpected, however, what it does seek to achieve is to effectively remove any real prospect of the whole site ever being restored to its former glory, where it has been for over 200 years.
Some points to bring to your attention:
- From the outset, we have made repeated attempts to get the owners to engage with us for a mutually agreeable solution. We had prepared a fully costed business and financial plan. We even offered to share any ‘windfall’, which could arise through subsequent development. It must be said that our attempts have been treated with contempt, and mostly ignored.
- The owners have attempted to thwart our efforts by removing our publicity information from the village notice board, and have threatened us with legal action, should we not cease and desist. We have not even been allowed to view the property
- The owners cleverly made use of a legal loophole which enabled them to switch the use from ‘Licensed Premises’, to ‘Business and retail’, without the need for consultation. This loophole in the law has now been blocked.
- The owners created the ‘Art Consultancy’ business, but I am sure that not many of you were convinced by that.
- The owners created their own restrictive covenant on the rear part, to prevent the any part of the site becoming licensed premises.
- The owners have also made arrangement to grant another restrictive covenant to others in the village to further impede a return to a licensed property on the premises.
- The owners published a statement in our Parish News stating that the site could never again become a pub. We obtained a Pre Planning report from Wiltshire Council which concluded that they saw no reason why it could not become a pub again.
There is no doubt that this latest development is a serious blow to our aims and objectives. Please be assured, that we will not be giving up without a fight, however we cannot do this without your continuing support. We, as The Bedwyn Pub Company Ltd. shall be making an objection to this development, but it is vital that you also make your own objection.
Objections based on the fact that the village cannot afford to lose a commercial property, that the community has suffered as a result of losing the pub, and that no serious effort has been made to run a commercial business from the reduced site (invalidating the claim that a successful business cannot be run from there) would probably carry the most weight with the council, but the most important thing is that you make your voice heard.
If you wish to lodge a complaint you can either comment direct on the site link and entering the reference number 18/11901/FUL. Click the link Comment on this application.
Alternatively, you can email Developmentmanagement@wiltshire.gov.uk quoting reference Planning application 18/11901/FUL
Or send a letter to
Wiltshire Council, County Hall
Trowbridge, BA14 8JN
…again quoting Ref Planning application 18/11901/FUL
We won’t succeed unless we succeed as a community so your help and support would be gratefully received and appreciated
Thank you and kind regards
The Bedwyn Pub Company
This email was received by Penny Post on 21 December 2017. We’re happy to reproduce it here in its entirety.
Dear Cross Keys Supporter
Thank you for taking the trouble to register your interest. You will by now be aware that an article was published in the December Parish News, which included details of who we are. You are one of over 150 villagers who have registered their interest, this is a great endorsement and we are sure that it will be a compel-ling factor when we have discussions with planners about the viability of the project. Please do continue to spread the word, and encourage others to register their support. Please do reinforce that there is no financial obligation.
There have been some adverse comments made about us and our intentions. Please allow me to be absolutely clear; there is nothing false or misleading about what we are trying to achieve, quite the contrary. We are not inviting anyone to invest funds at this stage. When we are approaching the point where an agreed price has been established for the freehold, we will be seeking pledges of investment, this could take many months or even years.
We made a fully-funded offer to purchase the whole site, including the rear buildings and garden, this was received by the owner’s company, and his agent, to date there has been no response. This offer formally registers our genuine inter-est. We are aware that it has since been taken off the market again, but should it come back on we would welcome the opportunity to engage with the freeholder.
Our sole purpose and ambition is to reopen the Cross Keys in the heart of the village community. We firmly believe that if properly run, it will be profitable, and benefit the village and wider community, providing a venue for tourism, while enhancing local business and employment. There is no doubt that not that long ago, The Cross Keys attracted much business from canal users and holiday makers, this trade was invaluable to our Stores and Post Office which have both suffered as a result.
We hear it said that the pub failed during its last tenancy, while this is clearly true, our analysis shows that a significant reason for its failure was a clause in the tenancy which forced the purchase of stock from a source nominated by the owner, at a premium. Our business model is based upon a freehouse model, in other words with total independence of stock sourcing.
We continue to work hard preparing the business case, we are working closely with, and drawing on the experience of others, including from those experienced in the pub trade. We are already working on a Share prospectus, ready for when we reach that stage. We will strive to keep you informed where possible, however, you will understand that some information, if it were to get back to the freeholder could be detrimental to our objective of buying the property to re-create the Cross Keys Pub. Please be assured that when the time is right, we will give you all the information that you will require.
If there is anyone out there with specific skills, in particular accountancy, but also property law, and project management, we would really welcome your help on our team. Contact can be made by Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, may I wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and a great New Year. Let us hope that this could be the year which sees the return of the Cross Keys to our village.
Director, The Bedwyn Pub Company Ltd.