Posted: 20.03.21 at 10:02 by Derek Davis
A village pub has gone back up for sale, paving the way for the community to make a bid to own it.
The Queen's Head at Erwarton is available for offers in the region of £350.000 with Everard Cole, after going on the market on Thursday.
A formerly thriving pub, famed for its good food and friendly atmosphere, the Queens Head closed in 2009 and it went into private hands.
However, current owners Marek and Claire Niewiarowski, who lived on the first floor, have failed in attempts to convert the whole building into a house and lost an appeal against Babergh last year after they were refused a change of use application.
Planning Inspector David Wallis concluded it had not been demonstrated that securing employment use of the building has been explored fully through the viability assessment. Therefore, insufficient justification has been provided to allow conversion of the public house. full story here...
William Wrinch, who lives at nearby Ness Farm, is keen to set up a community group to buy the Queen's Head and copy similar models adopted by the Case Is Altered at Bentley or the Brook Inn, at Washbrook and turn the Erwarton pub into a community hub.
Mr Wrinch said: "This is something we need to take a serious look at now, although we know it will not be easy, The Queen's Head was an incredibly popular, well run and highly thought of pub for many years,
"I truly believe if we as a community can take ownership, and run it properly then we would breathe life back into the Queen's Head, making it a wonderful asset for our ever-increasing community and turn it into the hub of our village once more."
Any move by the village to buy the pub could be helped by a match-funded grant of up to £250,000 from the Community Ownership Fund, which was part of a £150m investment announced in the budget earlier this month.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said at the time: 'Pubs and sports clubs are the heart and soul of our local towns and villages – they're the glue that keeps us together.
'This fund will help to ensure vital local institutions aren't lost to those who treasure them most."
An Asset of Community Value was placed on the Queens Head but has now lapsed, meaning anyone can now make a bid for the pub.
In its heyday the Queens Head was popular with local residents, villagers from nearby Shotley and Harkstead as well s cyclists, ramblers and tourists interested in Anne Boleyn, whose heart is reputed to be buried in the nearby St Mary's Church and who gives her name to the historic pub.
The Queens Head occupies a site measuring approximately a third of an acre, and is a detached, three-storey building with front, side and rear single-storey extensions. It is believed to date back to at least the 17th century.
The pub operated from one service bar providing space for around 50 covers to the bar area and a further 32 covers in the restaurant.
The back of house comprises a space to the rear for a commercial kitchen with separate wash up and service area. In addition to this, there is a single-storey extension to rear of the property with an area for a dry store, wine store and bottle store and a basement cellar.
The first floor comprises private accommodation, comprising domestic kitchen, lounge, double bedroom and bathroom. On the second floor there is further private accommodation, including two double bedrooms and a bathroom.
Outside, the property benefits from dedicated parking, with a single marked disabled parking bay to the front of the premises along with 4 further parking spaces. To the rear there is a car park with dedicated bays providing c. 15 spaces.
For more details on the Queens Head sale, go to the Everard Cole website here...