Ale campaigners fear Headington pub site will be turned into housing

Tony Goulding of Camra at The Quarry Gate

Tony Goulding of Camra at The Quarry Gate Buy this photo

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A HEADINGTON pub which closed this year has been bought for £600,000.

The Quarry Gate was sold to Seville Developments of Rugby, Land Registry records show.

The 1937 watering hole was boarded up last month. It was first put on the market in January 2011 for £899,000.

Seville was not available for comment on its plans for the pub.

Any move to change the use of the site, such as for housing, would need planning permission.

Oxford Campaign for Real Ale spokesman Tony Goulding raised concerns it would not reopen.

He said: “The problem is that it’s a prime site for any development.

“It’s a shame for the regular locals who have had their pub sold from under their feet.”

And he said it adds to disappointment over the closure of the nearby Crown and Thistle by Greene King – which it said was “unviable” – in January last year. Oxford City Council last month gave permission for three, four-bedroom homes on its car park.

Chris Meeson, landlord of the Masons Arms, in Headington Quarry, said: “I am disappointed to see all the pubs closing, but things in the trade are nothing like they used to be.”

“It’s unfortunate, but so much has changed over the last 10 to 15 years. It’s tragic, but I can’t see the Quarry Gate pub reopening.”

Former Quarry Gate barman Steve Jenkins, who now owns The Chequers in Headington Quarry, said: “It’s a crying shame that another pub has shut, but you have to move with the times.

“You can have one bad month and that can make things really difficult.”

Kennett Road resident Stephanie Jenkins said: “It’s just a shame that it has been sold as it’s another community asset that is going.

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“We are getting more people in Headington, but fewer assets all the time. A lot of things in Headington have closed which had been there a long time.”

Seville director David Exley is also registered as the founder and director of Oxford housing maintenance firm DW Contractors.

Comments (4)

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1:58pm Fri 27 Sep 13

icba1957 says...

Unfortunately, Tony, it's the lack of "regular locals" that are causing so many pubs to close!
Unfortunately, Tony, it's the lack of "regular locals" that are causing so many pubs to close! icba1957
  • Score: -61

2:53pm Fri 27 Sep 13

GRB says...

They'll be no pubs left soon. We'll all just stay indoors, drinking cans we've bought from the local Tesco.
They'll be no pubs left soon. We'll all just stay indoors, drinking cans we've bought from the local Tesco. GRB
  • Score: -60

3:29pm Fri 27 Sep 13

Danny A says...

Its a pity but it is clearly a prime site for housing - £600K is a bargain if they can fit 6x £400K town houses or 15x £200K flats on the site. A low turnover establishment in an area with super high rents is always under threat. The problem is that housing costs and rents have been allowed to escalate far faster than retail turn-over, even for successful businesses.

Given the Quarry gate is quite a large site, you wonder if a compromise could be struck in such cases with the council giving planning permission for some residential development if a smaller pub is maintained. You could easily fit four town houses or 10 flats plus a small single bar pub on the site.
Its a pity but it is clearly a prime site for housing - £600K is a bargain if they can fit 6x £400K town houses or 15x £200K flats on the site. A low turnover establishment in an area with super high rents is always under threat. The problem is that housing costs and rents have been allowed to escalate far faster than retail turn-over, even for successful businesses. Given the Quarry gate is quite a large site, you wonder if a compromise could be struck in such cases with the council giving planning permission for some residential development if a smaller pub is maintained. You could easily fit four town houses or 10 flats plus a small single bar pub on the site. Danny A
  • Score: -83

3:48am Sat 28 Sep 13

Andrew on the S3 says...

“It’s a shame for the regular locals who have had their pub sold from under their feet.”

It's been shut for 3 years, so have the "regular locals" been drinking cans from Tesco in the car park for all that time?
“It’s a shame for the regular locals who have had their pub sold from under their feet.” It's been shut for 3 years, so have the "regular locals" been drinking cans from Tesco in the car park for all that time? Andrew on the S3
  • Score: -140

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