March 9 2014 Latest news:
By dona-louise bishop
Friday, November 9, 2012
Opposition is growing over plans to shut Holt’s “last traditional pub” and turn the historic site into shops and homes.
Regulars, residents and business owners are voicing concert over the scheme by Capricorn Estates who bought the Grade 2 listed property from Punch Taverns in the summer, and want to create shops and six homes claiming the pub had fallen into decline.
Regular Les Davies said: “There is nowhere else in Holt you can come to and chat, play cards and darts. It’s the last traditional pub in Holt and I just think the plans are outrageous.”
He did not object to housing development behind but thought it was “vital” to keep the pub business alive.
And Josh Groom, son of the landlord Tony, said: “I think in five to 10 years people will be crying out for something like this back in Holt again.”
The new plans would look to relocate the town’s Tourist Information Centre into the building, coupled with a display for Holt Museum Trust. But many patrons believe there is too much to be lost by closing the pub, including an annual cricket match held in memory of a young former patron and charity quiz nights.
Resident Charlotte Brown, 27, said it would be “a real shame” to see closure of the “last real pub left in Holt.”
Holt Town Council is expected to discuss the plans on Monday. Member Jono Read said: “The Railway Tavern plays a big part in Holt’s history. I feel with the right business plan it would be viable to keep the pub going.
“We have to look at the district council’s decision to reject the application to convert the Hare and Hounds in Hempstead into accommodation. The owners needed to quite clearly demonstrate they have explored all possibilities to show that a pub cannot continue before taking it away from the community and the same should apply here.”