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Community pub hopes dashed

19 Jun 2024 3 minute read
The Parsonage Inn, St Florence. Picture: Google Street View.

Bruce Sinclair Local Democracy Reporter

A closed south Pembrokeshire inn, which sparked hopes it could become the latest community pub in the county will now be turned into two homes.

Earlier this year, The Parsonage Inn, St Florence closed its doors to the public, and a public meeting – at the behest of St Florence Community Council – was held in early February with hopes it could be run as a community venture.

Rising costs

In the last 20 years has seen eight tenants, with the closure coming about “due to the prolonged and sustained pressures faced to both the economy though the cost-of-living crisis with less trade, along with increases in utility, food and alcohol bills, as well as increases in business rates, minimum wage increases and further legislation on waste disposal”.

Local county councillor Rhys Jordan, who supported the meeting, said there was a strong desire to see The Parsonage Inn reopen its doors, but there was a need to temper enthusiasm with realism.

However, hopes the Parsonage would become a community pub have come to no avail, as just three per cent of the funds needed were raised.

Owner Daniel Scriven, in a recently submitted application, sought to turn the pub into two homes.

Challenges

Referring to the hopes The Parsonage could become a community pub, an application before Pembrokeshire planners says: “Following its closure in January 2024 a community meeting was held on February 5 in the village hall to discuss its future, during the meeting the challenges facing the hospitality industry were discussed and the community reviewed raising funds to take the Parsonage Inn into community ownership.

“Regrettably we understand following the meeting it has become evident that only three per cent fundraising of the asking price has been raised and no offer or approach to the applicant/owner has been made by the community to the owner to put forward a viable proposal, it would therefore appear unviable.

“Following its closure in January 2024, in March 2024 the final tenant along with some members of the community have opened a small community social club in the village hall during evenings on a more ad-hoc basis which would appear more reflective in scale and usage to the community it serves, alongside The [nearby] Sun Inn.”

The application has now been conditionally approved by Pembrokeshire planners.


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