LODSWORTH parish councillors are planning to hold an emergency meeting on Monday over the future of the Lickfold Inn, owned by television presenter and DJ Chris Evans.
They are taking up the matter following a public meeting attended by nearly 100 villagers at the Noah’s Ark pub in Lurgashall last week.
Parish council chairman Caroline Neville told the Observer the meeting, which is due to take place at 8pm in the village hall, had been called to give those who were concerned the chance to express their views.
“We are supporting those who are concerned. This is a listed building and we don’t want to see it fall into disrepair.”
She said parish councillors had already contacted English Heritage, the South Downs National Park Authority and planning and enforcement officers at Chichester District Council as they continued to access the situation.
The pub was bought in 2007 by Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 breakfast presenter and host of BBC 1’s The One Show but he closed it three years later claiming he could ’no longer justify keeping the Lickfold open.’
Last week’s crowded meeting at the Noah’s Ark was chaired by Lodsworth villager Prof Chris Marks who said the recent boarding-up of the pub was ‘another step downhill.’
He added: “It has always been a very well-known and much-loved pub so it is a real pity to see it literally rotting.”
He said the whole community wanted to see the building remain a pub and didn’t want to see it ‘fall down in front of their eyes when there is a strong possibility of saving it’.
Chris Evans reportedly bought the pub for more than £1m. The asking price is now around £625,000.
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