November 7, 2015
Dozens attend meeting near Burnham-On-Sea to save village pub

Fifty residents living in a village near Burnham-On-Sea attended a meeting this week to discuss saving their village pub.

The Watchfield Inn has been closed for over nine months - and Burnham Without Parish Council this week held a meeting about its future after successfully registering the pub as a formal 'asset of community value' earlier this year.

It emerged during this week's meeting that Sarah Hazlehurst from Bridgwater, pictured below, had come forward to offer re-opening the premises as a pub.

"We want to take on the pub's lease and re-open it," she told "But we've been in touch with Enterprise Inns, the ownerr, and they told us it's not financially viable and appear not to be interested."

"It's very frustrating - I hate to see a pub like this closed when it could be bringing the whole community together."

Local resident Jean White said: "We'd like to see it stay as a pub and be a part of the community. It's an important part of village life."

Steve Stamp added: "It would be good to have it back as a traditional country pub for the village - it had a lot of skittles teams at one point and was a great place to meet people. It's such a shame to see it as it is."

And Maurice Wall added: "Historically it was a very popular hostillery, but it seems the current owners are not prepared to resurrect it as a pub."

Nigel Litton added: "It would be a great shame if the pub was to remain closed. It should be open, it's a great asset."

Alistair Gordon, Chairman of the Parish Council, pictured, told "It was great to see the level of local support at the meeting - we had a good range of views about the Watchfield Inn."

"Before we jump forward, we want to explore all the options carefully and look at some of the proposals for the building which include turning into a day centre, a shop, a country hub and retaining it as a pub."

The public meeting was held on Wednesday (4th November) in Watchfield Village Hall and a follow-up session will be held in January.

The Watchfield Inn has remained shut since February and is no longer advertised for letting or sale by Enterprise Inns, the owners.


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