A pair of community leaders have said the guide price for an "eyesore" pub due to go up for auction for the fourth time in five months is still too high. 

The derelict site of The Vixen pub in Strasbourg Square, Haverhill, was listed for sale with Auction House in May and had a guide price of £900,000. 

Having failed to sell the pub, formerly known as The Scarlet Pimpernell, was then advertised for auction again at £650,000 in August, but went unsold. 

And in September it was listed for a third time with a guide price of £450,000, but the reserve price was not met – meaning it did not sell again.

It is now set to go under the hammer at the Auction House in London on Wednesday, October 25, this time with a guide price of £350,000.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Vixen, which stands derelict in Strasbourg Square, HaverhillThe Vixen, which stands derelict in Strasbourg Square, Haverhill (Image: Auction House London)

Pat Hanlon, who represents Haverhill East on the town council and previously branded the site an "eyesore", said: "I do hope someone will buy The Vixen and it is very good news that it's up for auction again at the end of the month, even though I feel the asking price is still too high, considering the state of The Vixen is in.

"My preference would be West Suffolk Council's Barley homes to take it over, but again I feel that the asking price is still too much for the district council.

"I would like minimum size standard or above flats, with shops in place of the old Vixen Pub, as there hasn't been any shops in Strasbourg Square free for many years and in the area shops are still well used." 

East Anglian Daily Times: Town councillor Pat HanlonTown councillor Pat Hanlon (Image: Haverhill Town Council)

And John Burns, who represents the same area on the town council, said the guide price of £350,000 is still "far too high" considering former planning permission for 17 flats and shops at the site has now expired. 

"Development works backwards. You start off with a gross income from whatever it is you build, take off around 25% profit, then the demolishing/building costs then finally what is left is the potential land value," he said.

"With high material and building costs I suspect that is one reason it is not selling. Personally I suspect it is worth no more than £200,000, but I am not a cost surveyor." 

Mr Burns also questioned why the property was not sold at the September auction when bids were placed but, because the reserve price was not met, it went unsold. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Cllr John BurnsCllr John Burns (Image: Haverhill Town Council)

He said: "If there were genuinely two bidders who were willing to spend £460,000 last time why has it not sold if the guide price is now £350,000?" 

Of what he would like to see at the site, Mr Burns said: "We need a good sustainable development that people who live there will appreciate and the existing businesses and residents equally appreciate, not a cram it in as much as possible development to make as much money as possible, which reduces the amenity of those who already work and live there."

Richard O’Driscoll, West Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for housing, said the council, which currently owns the car parking area at the site, put a bid in for the site in 2019, which was rejected. 

"Any decision to invest or not in a site, is guided by careful consideration given that it is taxpayers money, and we would need to be sure that an economically viable scheme could be delivered bringing in income to support the day-to-day services that we provide," he said.

"The site is challenging, and we remain open to discussions with the owners of the site."

The Vixen will go under the hammer with Auction House London on Wednesday, October 25.