Brakspear’s application to turn the former Reformation pub in Gallowstree Common into a vets surgery has been approved by South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC).

SODC’s planning committee voted by six to four with one abstention for the conversion which includes two detached family homes in the grounds.

The loss of the village’s only pub was lamented in a statement by Roger Penfold, clerk of Kidmore End Parish Council, which was read out in the meeting.

He said: “Gallowstree Common now has very little community infrastructure, just a recreation ground and some allotments.

“When I was appointed as clerk of the parish council there was much more. A chapel, a pub, a shop, a garage and a bus service spring to mind. Now it’s basically a dormitory to which has already been added 13 units of housing over the last 10 years.

“My council suggests this is not sustainable in these times, to add further family homes in this village.”

The meeting heard several councillors regret the loss of the pub but Deidre Wells, the agent representing Brakspear, said: “It’s always sad to see an old pub decline cease to trade. In this case my client has made significant efforts to arrest that decline over the last several years, including bringing back a successful landlord team.

“But despite this the pub has proved unviable and closed before Covid arrived.”

She said Brakspear has a contractual relationship with a local vet and the plan to extend and convert the pub had garnered a huge level of support.

A condition was included to ensure the vets practice is open before the houses are complete.

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