Do we have to lose another village pub?

Landlord Paul Quinn outside the Rose and Crown, Fleet Hargate
Landlord Paul Quinn outside the Rose and Crown, Fleet Hargate
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Can you see why a brewery may have to call time on this pub in Fleet Hargate?

Landlord of the Rose and Crown for 14 years Paul Quinn is calling for public support because he says he is set to lose his livelihood and his family home over a row with South Holland District Council regarding replacement windows.

The pub in the 1960s looked very similar to how it does now

The pub in the 1960s looked very similar to how it does now

Our pictures show hardly any difference between the windows in the 60s and 70s and now, but the pub is in a Conservation area and it seems Elgoods made the mistake of believing ‘like for like’ would be acceptable.

Mr Quinn received the shocking news last week that if the council insisted on the windows being removed, the pub may have to closed and be boarded up. He said: “I’ve been here for 14 years. As well as being one of the only public amenities in Fleet Hargate it’s also home for myself, my wife, Mary, and our two grandchildren Luke (nine) and Millie (11).

“We stand to lose everything if the pub has to close and it would be devastating for the locals, especially the elderly residents who live in the bungalows behind us – they love to pop in. Apart from the Post Office, there is nothing else here for people.

“It isn’t easy running a pub these days and we work really hard to keep it open – doing meals and having darts, dominoes and crib nights and music at weekends.

As well as being one of the only public amenities in Fleet Hargate it’s also home for my family

Paul Quinn, landlord of the Rose and Crown, Fleet Hargate

“The pub isn’t a listed building and the bay windows are hardly different to look at. But the brewery has told me it can’t afford to replace them again. If push comes to shove I’ll get six months’ notice and the pub will be boarded up.”

Jenny Everall, director at Elgood & Sons Ltd, said: “The Quinns have struggled to make the business profitable and were finding the heating bills unmanageable. We replaced their windows, which were in a very poor condition, as sympathetically as possible with UPVC ones to reduce heating costs. 

“We knew many of the properties around the pub in the conservation area already had UPVC windows having not applied for planning consent, but the council issued an enforcement order for us to remove ours because they treat residential and business premises differently. But the post office has plastic windows.

“We applied for retrospective permission which was refused, in spite of the parish council recommending that it should be approved.

“If we had chosen inappropriate looking replacement windows then we would fully understand.

“Licensed premises are struggling to survive in the current economic climate.  This work was undertaken in good faith, on a building that is not listed.

“We are unlikely to be in a position to spend even more money replacing the windows at the Rose & Crown.  Therefore, we may look to relocate the tenants to another pub, delicense the Rose & Crown, and sell it as a house.  Ironically, the UPVC windows would then be allowed to remain.

”It is not in the council’s interest to lose business rates. With 31 pubs a week closing, this is a situation that should be avoided.”

A spokesperson for South Holland District Council said: “We have been in discussions with Elgoods Brewery and explained that we would rather avoid issuing an Enforcement Notice to remove the windows.

“In January Elgoods informed our planning department that they will aim to submit a planning application for replacement of the windows within the next 12 months.

“Discussions are currently ongoing with regards to the design of the windows and we expect an application to be submitted in the near future.”