Council to save Chris Evans Lodsworth pub

The Lickfold Inn.'''Photo by Louise Adams C130170-1 Mid Lickfold Inn
The Lickfold Inn.'''Photo by Louise Adams C130170-1 Mid Lickfold Inn

COUNCILLORS are now looking to take action following concerns raised by residents about the dilapidated Lickfold Inn pub.

At Chichester District Council’s full council meeting in December, Easebourne and Lodsworth councillor Elizabeth Hamilton made a plea for DJ Chris Evans to unboard the Lickfold Inn, in Lodsworth.

The parish council had applied to have the pub registered as a community asset, under the localism act.

However, council officers were unable to gain access to the pub to see what sort of state it was in inside, as it remained boarded up and inaccessible.

Councillor Carol Purnell, cabinet member for housing and planning, has now issued a statement, detailing what action will now be taken.

Cllr Purnell said: “The council and South Downs National Park’s historic buildings advisers are currently pursuing access to the building through the security company Assured Services and have recently contacted them again for entry.

“It is unclear if the security company have been passing the requests for access on to the owner.

“If we do not get a response from them early in the new year we will write directly to the owner to request access to the building.

“Officers are now in possession of the owner’s full address.

“The power to gain entry to the building is available to the authority under Section 88 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 for the purpose of ascertaining whether it is being maintained in a proper state of repair.

“Should access not be forthcoming within a reasonable period, or refused by the owner, following requests made and attendance at the site by officers at a prescribed date and time, the council can seek a warrant under Section 88A for this purpose from the court.

“This option will be pursued with the assistance of officers in planning enforcement and legal services if access is not provided voluntarily by the owner. “

The inn is a grade II-listed former coaching inn and was bought by the breakfast DJ in 2007, but he closed it three years later, saying he could not justify keeping it open.