Chackmore residents fighting plans to convert closed village pub into housing

Residents outside The Queen's Head pub in Chackmore
Residents outside The Queen's Head pub in Chackmore

Residents in Chackmore near Buckingham are fighting plans to turn their currently closed village pub into homes.

The Queen's Head was forced to shut on July 1 2018 after the current landlady left due to 'difficulties over the running of the business.'

Residents outside The Queen's Head pub in Chackmore

Residents outside The Queen's Head pub in Chackmore

In September last year, David Hayhurst-France submitted an application on behalf of the parish council to register The Queen's Head as an asset of community value, meaning the pub would have been officially listed as being 'of value to the community.'

After the application was rejected, two Chackmore residents David Hayhurst-France and Pete Macwaters started a campaign to save the pub.

They also started work on a follow-up asset of community value application which was submitted last week.

While work was taking place on this application, Punch Taverns submitted a change of use planning application to the district council for the premises to be turned into a private dwelling.

At the time of writing, more than 100 objections to the change of use have been lodged.

Campaigners say the village would lose its 'heart and soul' if the change-of-use application on the pub was accepted.

Mr Macwaters said: "There is huge support from the community to get the pub re-opened so we’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen."

Mr Hayhurst-France added: "We have to fight the threatened permanent closure of The Queens Head as it is an important social hub within this rural community."

Among the objectors to the application are Margaret Snowdon OBE, Stowe School headmaster Dr Anthony Wallersteiner, district councillor Patrick Feeley, Andrew Clutterbuck QC and Rev William Pearson-Gee, vicar of Buckingham Parish Church.

A business plan is also being completed with the view to a possible community purchase if that is the only option available - campaigners say a six figure sum has already been pledged towards this.

The application is for the 'conversion of a public house to single dwelling with replacement rear extension, associated external alterations and erection of car port following demolition of existing detached garage.'

A date for a decision on the application is yet to be determined.