A Suffolk village fete brought 'mutual benefits' to a pub, an organiser said, but it will be held in a new venue this weekend due to plans to convert the pub into a home.

For 15 years, the Brandeston village fete had taken place in the grounds of the Queen pub, but this Saturday (June 22), the event will be held at the village hall as the pub is currently closed.

The pub's owner, Mark Cunningham, had applied to East Suffolk Council for permission to change the use of the premises, but the council turned down these plans in February.

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The pub is also registered as an asset of community value (ACV), which places restrictions on development and gives the community the right to buy the property if it is listed for sale.

Since then, the authority has issued Mr Cunningham with an enforcement notice to return the premises to its former use.

He had said the pub was not viable as a business, citing a viability report conducted on his behalf by real estate firm Savills.

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But Mary Ketley, chair of the village hall committee, said the fete was 'always a great success' and brought 'a lot of custom' to the pub.

She said: "Since the pub has been bought and change of use application made, the fete has had to return to the village hall and recreation grounds and whilst we make the most of it, it is disappointing that the mutual benefit of using the Queen grounds has been lost, particularly as this was one of the events that brought a lot of businesses to the pub and flies in the face of the claim by the new owners that it is not a viable business."

She added that in the absence of being able to use the pub, the village fete was making 'the best of what we do have,' which included a 'modern hall' and 'large recreation ground with children's playground and flying fox'.

Mary said this year's fete will support 'all the usual stalls,' including brocante, clothes and accessories, as well as games, a tea tent, barbecue and Grand Draw.

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The hall is also home to the monthly pop-up pub 'The Churchill Arms,' which was set up following the closure of the Queen in 2022.

However, Mr Cunningham said accounts figures lodged with HMRC showed that the pub had lost £570,000 in operating costs between 2015 and 2022.

He added: "The previous tenant managers we have spoken to also lost significant amounts of money.

"Adnams sold it quickly and as such it could not be such a jewel in their crown as they would not sell off a profitable business. 

"So nothing in the village, including the fete, made this premises 'successful'."

He also said the parish council and village hall committee needed to raise funds to support the village hall, with the revenue from the fete and pop-up pub being 'essential'.

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