The former Reformation pub at Gallowstree Common looks set to be turned into a veterinary practice despite repeated attempts to save it as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).

South Oxfordshire District Council’s (SODC) planning committee meets on February 2 to consider an application by owner Brakspear to turn the building in Horsepond Road, which closed as a pub in late 2019, into a veterinary practice with two detached houses built one either side. Officers have recommended approval for development on the 0.28-hectare site.

Six applications have been made to SODC to have the building protected as an ACV but each was refused and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has submitted an objected to the application.

In its submission CAMRA stated: “The Reformation has been a much-loved pub in the Chilterns for many years and the centre of village life in Gallowstree Common until very recently.

“Apart from the cricket club, there are no community facilities in the village – not even a church – so the village pub is a vital community asset. A veterinary surgery can hardly be regarded as a satisfactory substitute for a village pub with its ability to bring together all parts of the village community.

“From the responses so far to the planning application, it appears that most of the clientele for the new practice would come from outside the village.”

CAMRA argued the development to a veterinary practice would increase car usage. The application received 46 objections and 31 letters of support.

However, a viability assessment, commissioned by Brakspear, called it a ‘small pub with limited trade potential’ and concluded it would be unviable as a pub. It names 39 pubs within a four mile radius including The New Inn at Kidmore End and The Greyhound at Rotherfield Peppard, which it says are both within walking distance.

The Reformation’s closure in 2019 has left Gallowstree Common with no pub. Locals lost the Fox Inn at nearby Cane End in 2009 when it became a restaurant before closing and being replaced with houses.

Image: Google.

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