Hundreds back campaign to save Asfordby pub from closure

Hundreds of people have joined a campaign to prevent one of Asfordby’s two pubs being closed and used to extend a neighbouring shop.

By Nick Rennie
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 4:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 4:09 pm
The Horse Shoes pub at Asfordby

IMAGE Google Streetview EMN-220803-152542001
The Horse Shoes pub at Asfordby IMAGE Google Streetview EMN-220803-152542001

The Horse Shoes, on Main Street, has been a feature of the village and acted as a major social hub since the late 18th century.

But the current landlords are intending to retire and owners Bateman’s brewery plan to sell the building because it is not considered to be viable as a pub in future years.

Central England Co-op have confirmed they are in discussions to buy the pub and absorb it into their neighbouring store, which is on the corner of Bradgate Lane.

The Co-Op store at Asfordby with The Horse Shoes pub to the left IMAGE Google Streetview EMN-220803-152532001

The company say it will be provide a much better shop for the increasing population of Asfordby, if planning permission is given for the development.

However, villagers are getting behind a Facebook page - Save The Horse Shoes Pub from Co-op Development - with nearly 650 members already.

There are also moves to apply to make the Horse Shoes pub an asset of community value (ACV) which would protect it in the short term and give campaigners time to explore buying it.

Sarah Parker, who launched the Facebook campaign, says: “This pub is where families come to meet from sometimes four different generations, friends get together to socialise, children play and have fun and people who live on their own come to enjoy company and games like an old pub use to be.

“I moved me and my kids to this village for the community and this pub.

“It has always been at the heart of this community whether you go regularly now or you have attended one of the events or you went with mum, dad or grandparents when you were younger.

“To not have this at the heart of the community will be very soul destroying.”

An online petition to save the pub has also attracted more than 600 signatures and Asfordby Parish Council is looking at ways that it can help to keep the pub.

Ronnie de Burle, chair of Asfordby Parish Council, said he had spoken to Melton Borough Council, which is responsible for considering ACV requests, and that the parish is able to apply to the borough for an ACV on behalf of any local community groups which are interested in pursuing one.

A Central England Co-op spokesperson told the Melton Times: “We can confirm we’re in discussions to take over The Horseshoes public house in Asfordby which neighbours our Bradgate Lane food store with a view to utilising the space to create a larger, more modern store for the local community.

“We’re proud to be part of the community in Asfordby and our plans would see the creation of a much more sustainable food store for the future and offer a better shopping experience, improved product ranges and an enhanced car park for our loyal customers and members.

“We’re currently liaising with planning experts and officers from the local authority at every stage of developing this project and will ensure that we work together to provide a store that would bring significant benefits to the local community, including more jobs for local people.”

Asfordby would be left with just The Crown, which is also on Main Street, as its only pub if the Horse Shoes is eventually closed for good.