Historic Ashleworth pub to stay open for now, insist couple
LANDLORDS Tony and Gill Burreddu insist their historic pub will stay open, despite them getting planning approval to change it into a house.
The pair run The Queens Arms in Ashleworth and say their house conversion plan has only been devised as a safeguard, in case business does not pick up and they are forced to close.
They say that is certainly not what they want to happen, having run the 173-year-old pub for 15-and-a-half years.
Tony said: "It definitely won't be closing this year. The planning application was submitted purely as a safeguard so that if things don't work out, it will give us some time and a way out. But this is our house and our home. We feel quite emotional about the whole thing and we pray that things do work out.
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"The message is that we are around and we look forward to people coming." In a statement, the couple added: "We are currently trading and will be carrying on trading for the foreseeable future. We have had to take this option as a safeguard.
"Hopefully if the economy picks up and with the support of our good friends and more customers, it could still have a happy ending."
Tewkesbury Borough Council approved the couple's change of use planning application in principle, despite being sent 26 letters of objection and a petition signed by 121 people, compiled by Pat Riach, of Ashleworth Post Office.
She said: "It's very sad. My uncle, Jim Saunders, used to run it. If it closes, it will mean there will be nowhere we can go to for a nice meal in the village."
Phil Awford, who lived in the pub between 1955 and 1966, when his parents ran it, said: "I'm sad that it's come to this, but I completely understand why Mr Burreddu finds himself in this situation. Drinking habits have changed."