Pub owner: we’ve been very hurt and upset by comments

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The owner of a village pub, closed as a result of the recession, says he is trying to get it ready to open again.

Richard Gray, from the Rose and Crown in Bridge Street, says he and his family have been hurt and upset by comments by villagers that he is trying to turn it into a residential home.

Parish councillors recently held a special meeting to discuss the pub’s planning applications, including extra storage and an external flue.

The pub closed a year ago and is now on the market for £550,000 but Mr Gray, who lives there with his family, said: “It is my wish to reopen it. I have no wish at all to make it a residential property.

“I was unable to make the pub viable, so I have had to return to work. But I would like it to open again so people can use it.

“When we bought this, we bought it with a view to do nothing else other than run it as a business and I have invested a lot of time and money in it.

“We are very hurt and upset about what is being said; no-one has come to talk to us about it.”

Alpheton parish councillor Richard Kemp said the pub’s plans for an external flue had been withdrawn and described them as “totally alien” to the Grade II listed building.