Customers of The Highwayman Inn will be ‘sorry to see it go’ as planning permission is sought to knock down the pub and replace it with houses.
Hart District Council has received a proposal to build 10 family homes on the plot in Monteagle Lane, Yateley.
The plans come after a pre-application was submitted in May as the pub was said to be losing money.
Adrian Collett, from Darby Green, said it was ‘very sad’ as the venue was part of Yateley’s community infrastructure.
“People enjoy the entertainment that is put on there,” he said. “But it is down to getting enough people through the door. Sadly, we are all becoming much more separate from each other. We tend to watch entertainment at home and with the decline of pubs, it is inevitable.”
A large number of charity events have been held at the pub over the years, raising thousands of pounds for local organisations including Yateley charity Adam’s Hoofing Hut, Parity for Disability in Farnborough and Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham, as well as national charities including Help For Heroes and Parkinson’s UK.
Hugh Asher, who has owned the pub for four years, has sponsored the town’s football clubs and also hosted the Yateley’s Got Talent competition.
Myra Billings, from Yateley, said: “From a personal point of view, I will be sorry to see it go.
“Hugh has continued to support various community charity events over the years.
“He has agreed to hold a curry night at the pub on October 1 for my charity of the year, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, and he said that in the time he has left at the pub he would do everything he could to help.”
The plans are to build two, three and four-bedroom homes on the corner plot. Over the last three years, the premises was marketed at a price of between £900,000 and £950,000 through three different agents but no sale went through. The pub remains on the market at a reduced price of £899,950 with different agents.
There are another five pubs in Yateley that are, according to the applicant, in “direct competition” with the Highwayman offering not dissimilar menus and prices. Three of these belong to two pub chains, Vintage Inns and Greene King, which have invested in upgrading the pubs, offering cheaper beer prices.
Chris Barnes, from Yateley, felt that keeping the Highwayman as a pub would be the ‘best option’, adding: “The Highwayman may be in a residential area, but I think keeping it as a pub is the best option. As far as I am concerned it is viable.
“It would be so sad for it to no longer be a pub.”
Sarah King, from AKT Planning and Architecture and who submitted the application on behalf of Clovercourt Homes (Highwayman) Limited, said: “Whilst the public house has seen reasonable trading figures, its location within a suburban housing area, leaves its trading opportunities heavily constrained compared to the higher profile central public houses, which attract more passing trade.”
The public has until August 21 to comment on the application.