Public presentation of plans to return popular Ampthill pub to original coaching inn roots

Subject to a successful planning application, the popular White Hart on Ampthill’s Dunstable Street is proposing to return to its original coaching inn roots by offering the modern equivalent of more beds for travellers, plenty of spaces for their cars and a new landscaped pub garden.

The award-winning independent pub group, Oakman Inns, who breathed new life into the poorly-maintained historic building in 2015 after it had been closed for some years, acquired the freehold in 2017.

The White Hart

The White Hart

The company, which has always been transparent in their dealings with the local community, has announced they will be holding a public exhibition of all the plans and drawings between 7th and 10th March, following their submission to Central Bedfordshire Council.

As everyone who has an interest knows, it can be very frustrating to try and make sense of planning drawings and designs, especially on a small computer screen at home. Oakman Inns wants to ensure that as wide a section of the community as possible gets to see the proposals for themselves and to ask questions of those involved in the process.

Malcolm Schooling, Oakman’s Property Director, explained: “Our architects were selected for their vision on how we could work sympathetically within the historical context of the existing buildings, whilst sensitively creating a new, sustainable design concept within the grounds. Our proposals, we believe, will bring new jobs, increase visitors to Ampthill, ease the town’s congested parking and create a sustainable, community-centred business.”

The company is proposing to restore the old Hayloft building and to create three Pavilions providing 21 new hotel bedrooms plus a spacious new Patrons’ car park set within landscaped pub gardens.

Oakman Inns’ CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, added: “It has always been important to us to maintain the heritage and context of our historic properties and, if our plans are successful, we believe that with the provision of on-site car parking, we will not only have created a modern and sustainable reinterpretation of this beautiful 18th Century coaching inn, but also ensured its long term future and role within the town. We are keen that visitors make comments and suggestions on our proposals which have, historically, helped us shape our thinking.”

The exhibition will take place at The White Hart, 125 Dunstable Street, Ampthill, MK45 2NG on Thursday 7th March (4:30pm–7:00pm), Friday 8th March (2:00pm–7:00pm), Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th March 10:00am–5:00pm.