Outrage at plan to turn village pub into bed and breakfast

The Vine Inn in South Thoresby could become a bed and breakfast. Photo: Ian Holmes.
The Vine Inn in South Thoresby could become a bed and breakfast. Photo: Ian Holmes.

A once ‘bustling’ village pub where Paul Weller enjoyed a pint could become a bed and breakfast if a contentious proposal gets the green light.

The Vine Inn at South Thoresby, which dates back to the 1700s, has been closed since 2009 and current owner Jeremy Crisp believes reopening it is ‘not a viable prospect’.

But a group of residents are launching a fight to protect it, having founded the Friends of The Vine Inn just last week.

“The pub has always been bustling, and is the centre of the community. It really is very sad,” said resident Louise Dransfield.

The planning documents confirm that the pub was put up for sale for six months, but received just one viewing.

The applicant, Mr Crisp, explains: “We purchased it (the pub) in mid 2010 intending to re-animate it as a public house. However in 2011 it became apparent this was not a viable prospect.”

The plans now are to turn the building into a four-bedroom guest house with, eventually, a tea room.

But Mrs Dransfield remains unconvinced. “The village really is lacking in something now, the pub was the heart of everything,” she said.

“It was always bustling, there used to be so many events on and obviously the village is very popular with walkers. It’s extra special to me as I met my husband there.

“With Chapel Studios being nearby we’ve had some famous faces seen drinking in the pub like Paul Weller.”

East Lindsey District Council planning officer Ian Carrington confirmed to the applicant via a letter that ‘a change of use proposal for a bed and breakfast would be likely to be supported’.

“We are satisfied that the Vine Inn has been appropriately and widely advertised,” he said.

“The authority believes it is not clear that the former pub business is not viable.”

A neighbouring resident said in their planning comments: “The village of South Thoresby has no amenities now the pub is shut, and the community spirit that existed when we first arrived in the village has all but disappeared following its closure.”

The concerned residents are holding a public meeting at St Andrew’s Church in South Thoresby this Wednesday, May 1, from 7pm.

What do you make of the proposals? Do you recall a bustling village pub? Email your views and memories to sam.kinnaird@jpress.co.uk.