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Villagers vow to fight on for pub

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 07, 2014

01/04/14 GV of the wheel in Findern. Planning ap to convert it into funeral directors. - Findern, Finder

01/04/14 GV of the wheel in Findern. Planning ap to convert it into funeral directors. - Findern, Finder

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PEOPLE in a South Derbyshire village are continuing their fight to save a pub that looks set to be turned into a funeral parlour.

The Wheel Inn in Findern will close on April 14 and could be turned into a funeral directors if plans are given the go ahead.

Now residents are submitting an application to South Derbyshire District Council to have it registered as a community asset, to pause its sale and keep it as a pub.

Villager Kate Horton said: “We are hoping that this will put the potential buyers off if it goes through and give us some time to create more publicity and hopefully find a buyer.”

Landlord Victor Watkins, 60, who has been in the pub industry for 30 years, said: “Since I took it over in December I have built it up quite a bit. I was bringing it back to where it should be. I have done some work in the kitchen and was going to bring a chef but that was put on hold so now I need to find another pub or somewhere to live.

“When I first came here I was told it was up for sale but it still had to be kept as a pub for 15 years.

“I received a letter that said we had six and a half weeks to sort something out but I the had an email last week that said we were closing on April 14.”

A Punch Taverns spokesman said: “As a pub company, we are not in the business of closing and selling pubs. Unfortunately, after a review of our estate, the Wheel Inn did not prove a viable business for us and we have considered how the property might better fulfil its potential within the local community. Therefore, the commercial decision was made to market the pub for sale in July 2013, where we have been open to consider offers by all interested parties. We have only received one offer from a potential purchaser who we are currently in advanced discussions with.”

The closure of the pub will be marked with a party.

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