Another village loses only pub

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The village of Hitcham is to lose its only pub after a planning inspector upheld an appeal by the owners who want sell it as a house.

Owners of the White Horse, Ann and Richard Lewis, said they were glad the battle was over after residents and the parish council attempted to save the pub through an “asset of community value” bid.

The White Horse, which will remain open until a new owner is found, has been granted residential status after the owners unsuccessfully put it on the market as a pub three years ago.

Mrs Lewis, who plans to retire and move away with husband Richard after selling the five-bedroom building, said the pub was no longer a viable business.

“To be honest, we’re quite glad it’s all over, it hasn’t been a very pleasant experience,” she said.

“We think it is a victory for common sense as well.

Mrs and Mr Lewis, who have lived at the White Horse for the past 11 years, said they did not feel as if they could stay after the lengthy planning battle.

They lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate in December after Babergh District Council deferred making a decision on their planning application the previous month.

On Wednesday, a planning inspectorate decided to allow the appeal, concluding that it would be unreasonable to expect the owners to continue operating an unviable business.