Plans to improve the offering of a community bought pub have been approved as it seeks to become “a place of destination”.
The Longparish-based Plow Inn has been given the green light to expand its parking lot and move an LPG tank to “improve” its pub garden, opening it up to the wider community. This is subject to certain conditions, including the resolution of the route of a public road crossing the car park.
Discussing the app, Andy Joliffe, Chairman of the Plow Committee, previously told the advertiser: “When it opens, we expect The Plow to be a destination pub, with customers coming from several kilometers to visit us. Not only do we need enough spaces, but we also want to make sure those spaces are in the right place: the existing parking lot is currently encroaching on outdoor spaces that could be better used to serve customers outside.
“By moving the parking lot further away from the pub building and the garden, we can provide plenty of parking space, improve the atmosphere and improve the customer experience. ”
The Plow Inn opened in 1721 and has been one of the village’s most popular drinking places for much of that time, and has won awards such as Good Food Pub of the Year Guide.
It closed in 2015 and survived two attempts to turn it into a home. Plow Ahead, a group of residents looking to make it a pub, then formed in 2018.
They launched a fundraising campaign to increase part of the purchase price of the pub, which was listed at £ 550,000 on Rightmove. They managed to raise over £ 300,000 by selling shares to members of the public, with 240 members of the public in varying amounts to see the pub resurrected.
A further £ 300,000 has been borrowed by Longparish Parish Council to cover additional costs, and they will legally own the pub, with the building leased to Plow Ahead on a long-term lease. £ 100,000 was also provided as part of a grant and loan program under the Plunkett Foundation’s ‘More Than a Pub’ program.
Since the keys were handed over, work is underway to restore the pub to its former glory, with repairs and improvements to the plumbing, electricity and heating. A new bar has been installed, while renovations are ongoing inside and out.
The pub is also on the lookout for new staff ahead of an opening scheduled for the first week of September.