05:00PM, Thursday 16 February 2017
The sudden sale of a pub in Eton Wick has inspired a petition to save it from redevelopment.
The Shepherd’s Hut was owned by Fuller’s Brewery but has now been sold, closing its doors on Sunday.
A post on the pub’s Facebook page from landlady Catie Lockhart on February 3 announced the pub had been sold by Fuller’s.
Another post on Monday thanked the village for its support and said: “It has been very sad and upsetting to see the doors close, the pub and us were given the best send off.
“Let’s hope that whoever has bought it keeps it as a pub and reopens soon.”
Richard Beck, 27, of Alma Road, has lived in the village for two years but grew up down the road in Dorney.
He started a petition on Tuesday calling on the Royal Borough to ‘prevent the development’ of the pub, which is what he is expecting will happen.
Richard, who works for computer software company in Slough, said: “It is a focal point of the village. We used to have four pubs in the village and now we have only got one.”
The petition has already gathered more than 180 signatures and Richard hopes it will reach 1,000, the number needed for it to be discussed by councillors.
An advert on chartered surveyor firm Fleurets shows that the pub is already sold and lists development potential, subject to planning permission, as one of its features.
Following the closure of the pub, a spokeswoman for Fuller’s said a number of the company’s 200 tenanted pubs have been ‘earmarked for sale’.
Grant Wallace, 33, has lived in the village for four-and-a-half years with his partner, born and bred villager Megan Gowers.
He has signed the petition and told the Express he thinks the high price to rent the pub from Fuller’s meant anyone wanting to run it was priced out.
“It is a very close knit little village and the pub is just an extension of that,” he said.
“I think there is the potential for the pub to do well, everyone is behind it. It would look absolutely horrible to have a new build there just to line people’s pockets with a couple of million.”
Grant, who owns a logistics company, said he has been surprised by the lack of information about the sudden closure.
“In this village if something is said down one end of the High Street by lunchtime it would be down the other end,” he said. “But no one actually knows anything which is really strange.”
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