At the recent Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday May 9th 2017 the subject of the Fox and Hounds pub was raised. The meeting was well attended and our recently elected councillor Jo Barker was present as were Steve Allely and Jackie Harding, the current owners of the pub.
Steve and Jackie were asked about their intentions for the future of the Fox and Hounds. They stated clearly that it would not re-open. They were asked whether they would consider meeting up to discuss the possible purchase of the pub but this invitation was declined.
Jackie went on to say that they needed to recover their investment in the pub. When asked what this was she stated that the purchase price was £400,000 and mentioned various other payments.
Here is an excerpt from the (publicly accessible) Land Registry record of the sale of the Fox and Hounds to Jackie & Steve with some funding from Steve’s Mother. It states clearly that the price paid was £325,000.
When asked, Jackie confirmed that her offer to sell the pub to the village for £1,000,000 stands, otherwise she and Steve plan to apply for planning permission to change the pub into a house. When asked whether they would continue to live in the village after any such conversion Jackie replied “Unlikely”.
The owners were asked once again if they would be prepared to meet to discuss the matter. Councillor Jo Barker offered to attend as a third party if it would be helpful. Jackie and Steve prevaricated but eventually said that they would ‘take advice’ and might be prepared to attend.
The meeting has at least brought clarity to the situation. The owners appear to have paid £325,000 for the pub, claim to have paid much more and want £1,000,000 otherwise they’ll attempt to turn the Fox and Hounds, the village’s pub for over 400 years, into a private house in which they have no plans to live but simply want to sell at a profit.
People may draw different conclusions about the true motives of Steve Allely and Jackie Harding when they bought the Fox and Hounds, but I think we can all agree on the need to work together against their plans to deprive us of our village Pub.