Landlord bids to save historic pub

AN ANONYMOUS landlord has come forward to try and save a 400-year-old Essex pub from being converted into a house.The landlord, who did not want to be named, last night said he had for “some time” been interested in buying the White Hart pub in Wix, near Harwich.

AN ANONYMOUS landlord has come forward to try and save a 400-year-old Essex pub from being converted into a house.

The landlord, who did not want to be named, last night said he had for “some time” been interested in buying the White Hart pub in Wix, near Harwich.

The 17th Century Grade II listed building has remained closed for more than 18 months and in August last year a Benfleet-based property developer stepped in to buy it.

Fury erupted in the village after the company, G and K Groundworks Ltd, applied to Tendring District Council to convert the Harwich Road inn into a house.

Villagers claimed they were concerned that it was another loss of amenity to them and their worries grew after it emerged the company also wished to build eight new dwellings on the field behind the pub.

Last night, the managing director of the company, Glen Smith, confirmed he would travel to Wix on Monday night to confront villagers about their fears.

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John McPherson, the architectural consultant charged with overseeing the redevelopment, has claimed the former pub and restaurant had been failing for many years, proving it was uneconomic to run.

However, residents dispute this and now another landlord has come forward to what they hope will be the rescue.

The landlord said: “I am interested in buying it and I have made numerous enquiries, which I will continue to do and hope we can restore the White Hart to its former glory. ”

Marion Collar, who lives next door-but-one to the pub, said: “This pub has so many historic features inside such as the cockfighting pit and these could all be lost if plans go ahead.”

She said she and many others would have her say on their battle on Monday night when Wix Parish Council allows a discussion of the issues.

But developer Mr Smith said he would also meet the villagers at the meeting and reassure them of his plans.

The application, which is currently under consultation process at Tendring District Council and is expected to be discussed by the planning committee early next year.

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