Pub plan withdrawn – but fight not over

foresters arms
foresters arms

CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after an application to knock down the Foresters Arms in Newthorpe was withdrawn.

But the celebratory drinks may not last long, as pub owners Greene King say they plan to re-submit the application ‘in the near future’.

Pub regular and campaigner Steve Fee said he was baffled as to why the brewery had withdrawn the application.

“I don’t know what to make of it all,” he said.

“I think maybe they’re thinking ‘our noses have been bloodied so lets leave this one for the time being’. They will probably re-submit it when the lease runs out.”

Another regular Andy Hankin said: “I’m pleased it’s been withdrawn, but I knew they wouldn’t leave the potential for seven houses with the profit margin that’s in it for them.”

The regulars got Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry involved in the campaign and handed her a petition with over 700 signatures on opposing the plans to knock it down.

She said: “I’m really pleased but the troubling news is that Greene King will come back with another application.

“I suspect they will sell the car park for housing, and some time in the future when they can’t sell the pub, they will sell that off for housing as well.”

Ms Soubry suggestededed the pub could be saved if a member of the public bought it and she has written to Greene King asking them to consider selling it privately.

She says there are several businessmen in the area interested, but admits she fears Green King would not sell because they would get more money building houses.

“Selling to people locally is the way to save the Foresters,” she said. “They could sell the car park land for housing and use the money to do the pub up.

“I really do hope that happens. Somebody buys it and improves it for the benefit of everyone in Newthorpe.”

Mr Hankin is one of the customers interested in buying the pub.

“I would sell the gravel area to the left of the car park, the pub would still be standing and you would still have car parking spaces,” he said.

“We (regulars) have even spoke about a few of us buying it together.”

He added it was a ‘great shame’ that the pub had the uncertainty hanging over it.

“That pub shouldn’t close. It’s a great shame,” he said. “It’s a community pub and it’s a very busy pub as well.

“If there were only a few regulars going in at the weekend I would understand it. But it’s a place where every night of the week people are going in.”

Despite Greene King’s plan to re-submit the application, Mr Hankin said the campaign to save the pub will continue and the regulars will not ‘quieten down’.

“The community will stick together and hopefully that will save it,” he said.

Landlord of The New Inn in Newthorpe John Bolton said: “It’s fantastic they have withdrawn the application. We have got to have another pub in the area.

“There are so many pubs closing down at the minute it’s scary. I was really, really upset it was closing. We play darts and dominoes with them”

Greene King submitted a planning application to knock the pub down and build seven houses on the site last month.

A Greene King spokesman said: “The planning application was withdrawn by Greene King for minor amendments. We anticipate we will re-submit another planning application for potential residential use in the near future.”

According to Ms Soubry, Broxtowe Borough Council is also investigating if the pub could be protected as a heritage asset because of its DH Lawrence links.