These days it is all too common to read about pubs closing and it is always very sad. Often the closure of the pub is a terrible thing for the community, where traditionally it is seen as the hub of local life. In these situations local residents often vociferously oppose the closure. It is unusual, therefore, to read instead about residents vociferously opposing the building of a new pub in their community.
The pub in question is the one that Greene King are planning to build in Quayside Way near Monk Meadow in Hempstead. You’d think they’d welcome something to bring a little heart to what otherwise must be a fairly isolated new estate on the west side of the canal.
Having said that, when I heard about the plans I wasn’t too impressed either. It seems odd to build a new pub in the current climate when so many are closing: surely better to save one of them instead. Also it will take away the finite number of potential punters away from the pubs that already exist: the Hempstead residents would surely be better off going to The Linden Tree or one of the pubs around the Docks.
Well, yes, they would. But although they’re not far away as the crow flies, they are on the wrong side of the canal, so a bit of a hike away.
The main concern of the residents – and 109 of them objected – is the standard middle-class worry about the impact on house prices; but surely amenities should add to the desirability of their homes. But no, they assume that with the pub will come ‘anti-social behaviour’. Well maybe, but is that a given?
A Hungry Horse pub certainly wouldn’t be my ideal for a local, but it tends to appeal to diners and families, so presumably wouldn’t create too much trouble and it’s unlikely to attract many people from the town that far out.
The other concern cited is that ‘visitors to the pub could fall in the water if they come out drunk’ – well yes, and they could fall in front of a car if they come out of a town pub drunk! On the up-side, its one way to thin out the anti-social element!
Whatever the residents think, plans have been approved and were being voted upon by the council’s planning committee today, so I await the outcome with (limited) interest.
Source: Gloucester Citizen, Friday January 6, 2012