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Owner of Dobermann Inn, Framsden, says campaign to save the pub has caused misery for family

PUBLISHED: 17:38 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:13 16 September 2017

The Dobermann Inn, in Framsden, has become the centre of a row between its owner and a group of people in the village.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Dobermann Inn, in Framsden, has become the centre of a row between its owner and a group of people in the village. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A Suffolk pub owner has warned campaigners trying to save it that she would not sell to them under any circumstances due to the “misery” it has caused her family.

Julia Coulthard says her life has been “devastated” by the recent attempts made to stop the sale of the Dobermann Inn in Framsden as housing.

She inherited the pub from her mother Sue Frankland, who died last year after running it for three decades, and claims it is no longer a viable business. Mrs Coulthard says she was unable to find a buyer willing to run the Dobermann as a pub and so she sought residential buyers to pay off the significant debts that had built up. But her attempts have been complicated by a group of villagers who want to save the pub and register it as an asset of community value.

Mrs Coulthard has accused the group of hypocrisy saying none of them used the pub when it was open. She said she would have worked with the group but their “cloak and dagger” approach had prevented any co-operation.

“This group behaved so awfully to me and so they will now have to reap what they sow,” she said. “None of them used the pub. They only care about it when it’s being taken away from them. But we’ve reached a point where they’ve been so unpleasant to me and my family that I wouldn’t sell to them under any circumstances.”

Amanda Frost, who lived in the village until recently, has also criticised the campaigners, saying the pub only survived because Mrs Frankland heavily subsidised it with little support from the locals. “I am astounded that the villagers are now trying to save the pub, which very few of them ever used in the 30 years it was open,” she said.

Glenn Buckingham, a member of the campaign group, acknowledged the pub had become a “contentious issue” but denies any unpleasantness. He claims the owner attempted to “steam roller” the sale as housing to get maximum value for the property, which is why the villagers mounted their campaign.

Having held several well attended meetings about the pub, Mr Buckingham insists there is a strong desire to save it. He claims the group is “well on the way” to receiving the pledges it needs.

“If this pub was not viable, it would not have survived all these years,” he added. “We think it would be a great shame to lose it, which is why we want it as a community asset.”

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