Residents in Silsoe turned out in force this morning in their fight to save The George pub.
They were protesting against plans to re-develop the historic site in Silsoe High Street to feature apartments, a wet bar ‘mini pub’ and commercial outlet.
Villagers want the site to become a community hub with a bar, restaurant and post office.
They met members of Central Beds Council’s planning committee during a site visit to The George Pub ahead of its on meeting on Wednesday to
decide whether the developer’s plans for The George will be approved.
The property, a distinctive white stone building, parts of which date back to 1613, comprises a large bar, restaurant, nine bedrooms, living room, car park and large trade garden. A former Greene KIng pub, it closed its doors around two years ago and was put on the market in February 2016.
Spokesman Maggie Herod said: “ Silsoe Community Society does not wish The George to be redeveloped into apartments with a wet bar and unspecified commercial outlet.
“Instead they wish the pub to become a community hub, with bar, restaurant and post office.”
Silsoe Community Society was created by a number of local people with the aim to save The George, a former hotel, from yet more development and to create a new hub that will be “at the heart of Silsoe” – both geographically and literally, with the aim of reviving The George as a centre of the community.
Central Beds Council assigned The George an ACV – Asset of Community Value - meaning the community had six months to raise the monies to save the historic inn for the benefit of the community.
Its website states: “Our Society has put together a business plan and subsequent share offer so that all people interested in helping us save this historic and central part of Silsoe can do so by investing as little as £50 in what is sure to be a thriving community hub.”