Fight to save landmark pub from demolition

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

the Fountain Inn, Horsham

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A campaign is underway to save 250 year old pub the Fountain Inn. The Horsham based pub is currently facing being demolished after a planning request to knock it down to make way for five houses was submitted to Horsham District Council.

Although the pub is currently still open, documents submitted to the council report it has been 'trading poorly' in recent years. It is owned by brewer and pub company Hall & Woodhouse, which operates around 200 pubs. 

Campaigner and local Richard Street said: “There was a real sense that the pub being demolished was inevitable and everyone had given up but I thought it would be a shame to knock it down without even trying to save it.

"There are a lot of people who want to support the pub, from local councillors rallying round to locals offering significant amounts of money to help save it. There’s a real vision of what it could be: a good pub selling excellent real ale and pub-grub.”

Street blamed a lack of investment for the pubs current neglected state and is currently receiving advice from CAMRA about listing the pub as an asset of community value. Locals are being urged to submit letters objecting to the plans to the council in the hopes of buying the inn a new lease of life.

One such letter argued that the loss of the pub would have a significant effect on the well-being of residents who use the pub socially and to organise events.

However, another letter from a local said he was in favour of the plans and was looking forward to “a beautiful town centre connecting the new and exciting John Lewis at Home to Waitrose.”

Street is currently exploring whether a landlord can be found for the Fountain Inn if it is listed as an ACV and successfully bought by the community. 

Related topics: Property law

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8 comments

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Many More To Come

Posted by Robert Feal-Martinez,

Enterprise have released their strategy and it is as some of us predcited a radical change in direction that will leave many lessees disappointed at the limited prospects that the MRO will offer.

With non renewable 5 years leases offered for MRO, it is extremely unlikely this will save many tenants from fiscal failure.

The outcome may have been unintended but were certainly not unforeseen by some.

EI & Punch were never going to roll over, as Ed says in his comments Punch have employed a frachise specialist to head up the company so??

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Reality Check

Posted by C James,

This pub is a remnant from the spit and sawdust days. It was always a rough house, and once it has that label it sticks. I'm not defending Hall and Woodhouse as this is par for the course as far as they are concerned ,but it cannot survive in its current state. And as H&W have just spent £500,000 refurbing a country pub about 5 miles away, I think it is time to say goodbye to The Fountain.

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Fountain Inn - Hall & Woodhouse

Posted by Paul Rogers,

Why would locals use a run down pub, that appears to have had no significant investment to make it a nice environment, that would then attract a decent Tenant / Landlord / Owner to run it as a business. This property stands on significant land and no doubt the rise of House Building + value of property in Horsham area = exceeding an ROI to an asset owned by Hall & Woodhouse. In fairness the revenues raised would no doubt be utilised to invest in other sites that would deliver better yields. Which is understandable, however please HALL & WOODHOUSE DO NOT blame locals for not supporting this business as this is not the reason for the demise of this great looking and great location of a property. It is through lack of investment, lack of ownership and certainly the right timing for your company to let it go and maximise the asset ROI.

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