PASSIONATE villagers are rallying to protect a beautiful Lickfold pub which they fear is ‘falling into ruin’.
A public meeting was held on Monday night to discuss the future of the Lickfold Inn, which is owned by television presenter and DJ Chris Evans.
Much to the concern of Lodsworth, River, and Lickfold locals, the pub has been boarded up and fenced off.
Lodsworth parish clerk, Helen Cruickshank condemned the closure, saying Chris Evans had ‘taken a beautiful pub and turned it into an eyesore.”
Speaking at the meeting, professor Chris Marks, said: “If they won’t talk to us propely then we have to be legalistic. But we should first try to talk to him and let him know where we stand. But he is responsible for this.”
Local authorities have the power to ensure listed buildings are kept in good condition in accordance with the Planning Act 1990.
Speaking at the meeting, Caroline Neville, chairman of Lodsworth Parish Council said: “The parish council is concerned about the condition of the building and how it is looked after. ““We have to get it looked at internally so we can see what condition it is in and if it is falling in to disrepair.
“He [Chris Evans] is continually saying he doesn’t have offers on the table. But we know the person who made an offer at the asking price is still interested. We need to find out what is going on.”
Attendees decided to set up a website to raise awareness and start a campaign to save the inn.
As there is no shop in Lickfold, residents agreed the pub is very important to the community.