Community gathers to save Roughlee pub

The future of the highly popular establishment has been thrown into doubt.

The future of the highly popular establishment has been thrown into doubt.

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Roughlee residents are fighting to save a cherished pub from developers eyeing up the site for housing, despite the establishment having been closed for six months.

The Bay Horse Inn, on Blacko Bar Road, has been closed following a kitchen fire six months ago, yet despite the owners’ purported desires to sell the site to housing developers, locals are doing what they can to delay any sale.

The Bay Horse Inn is being earmarked by housing developers as a potential new site.

The Bay Horse Inn is being earmarked by housing developers as a potential new site.

This month, Roughlee Parish Council have applied to Pendle Borough Council to have the pub designated as an Asset of Community Value, asking the planning committee to put resident’s needs before any commercial interests.

Local businessman, Paul Dawson, is leading the campaign to save the pub and said: “Roughlee is in an area of outstanding natural beauty. There are two popular caravan sites in the village, and it’s a stop-off place for walkers on the way to Pendle Hill.

“It has no church, shop, or post office,” he continued. “To close the only pub is unthinkable; it’s been a thriving part of the village and an important employer.”

As well as pushing the council, the local consortium is also attempting to raise the requisite money to buy the pub outright if necessary.

The establishment began to encounter issues when it was sold to a brewery some 15 years ago, resulting in tenants facing sky-high rents.

“The current owners have never lived in the village and there has been a large turnover in staff,” Paul continued. “We want it to become part of the community.

“If no pub group comes forward to take over the Bay, we’re sounding out villagers to see if we can raise enough to buy it: people have offered substantial contributions.”

Andrew Walker, Chairman of the parish council, said: “The parish council supports listing the pub as an Asset of Community Value. We’re urging Pendle Borough Council to listen to villagers.

“Once the pub is housing, we’ll never get it back,” he added. “In towns, there are other pubs you can use: in Roughlee the nearest pub is nearly two miles away.”

A meeting will take place at 7.30pm on Thursday, April 6th in the village centre to discuss raising the necessary funds to buy the business.

For more information, check the Roughlee village website or contact Robert Carson on 696 997 or by email at robertalexandercarson@gmail.com.