Aston Clinton pub celebrates after winning long battle to stay open
The Rothschild Arms, a 172-year-old pub in Aston Clinton, has this week learned that its doors will remain open having been threatened with closure since last August.
Bucks Herald readers may recall that this paper enthusiastically supported the 'Save The Roths' campaign as soon as we heard about the pub's plight, and now we can report that after a long legal battle the pub has indeed been saved.
Owner Stuart told us:
“We're 100 per cent over the moon and very relieved. I had nothing else lined up so I had to win it.”
The problems began when the brewery, Punch Taverns, wanted to sell the building, meaning tenants Stuart and Gemma could no longer continue to run their beloved village pub, despite being prepared to buy it themselves.
A community action group soon formed, raising over £15,000 in funds, and at the suggestion of The Bucks Herald, organised a coach trip to the brewery headquarters in Burton-upon-Trent to make their feelings felt to the senior management.
The short version is that subsequently a legal challenge to planning permission on the property was brought by local campaigner and barrister Liz Tubb on behalf of the pub, which culminated in the case being sent to the High Court.
Finally, after further negotiations with the brewery, the pub was signed over to Stuart and Gemma on Wednesday this week (15 January).
Liz Tubb, barrister and spokesperson for the Save The Roths campaign, said:
“I'm absolutely delighted. It's a great result and the right result. It's a fantastic result for the little man, for people who are prepared to campaign. It shows that if you're determined to keep going sometimes you can win. We had great support from people in the village and we were lucky on the court case. Now we have our pub and I can't wait until it opens!”
The pub was closed on 25 October while the dispute played out, but the proud new owners are hoping to re-open in mid-February. Currently they are taking the opportunity to do some renovation work, or as Stuart jokingly put it to us, “to smash it to bits!”
Another member of the Save The Roths campaign also contacted the paper this morning to say that on behalf of everyone they are, “very grateful for The Bucks Herald's support.”