Friday, 17 August 2012

Save the Robin Hood

It was announced on Wednesday 15th August that the Robin Hood public house in Sherwood, Tunbridge Wells will be closing its doors on 19th August and then boarded up.  The land is on the market,  advertised as suitable for residential or commercial development, although I surmise there will have to be planning approval.

The locals are up in arms, quite right.  The nearest pub to the Sherwood estate is well over a mile away and not on a  bus route.  No longer a stroll down to the local, it will be car or taxi, not good news in an area with many people on very low incomes.

A protest group has been set up on Facebook.  How will local politicians and the housing association react to this body blow to community life?  The problem is that time-scales are short.  Having been given virtually no notice of the impending closure how will local residents be able to put together a package to save the pub?  The whole episode shows how some owners of pub chains behave: with disdain for their customers and no sense of social responsibility.  Surely the owners could provide time for a rescue package to be mounted?

The site is large enough to support a pub and some housing.  The function room is not an integral part of the main building, rather it is a side annexe. It could be used for community based activities which are not suited to the community centre.

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