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Real ale drinkers oppose pub closure

PUBLISHED: 12:23 24 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 March 2010

REAL ale campaigners have added their voice to the opposition in an attempt to stop the closure of a struggling 283-year old village pub.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is set to consider an application that would see the Lion Inn at Little Glemham, near Saxmundham, converted into a residential dwelling and bed and breakfast accommodation.

REAL ale campaigners have added their voice to the opposition in an attempt to stop the closure of a struggling 283-year old village pub.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is set to consider an application that would see the Lion Inn at Little Glemham, near Saxmundham, converted into a residential dwelling and bed and breakfast accommodation.

But Roger Waters, Suffolk pubs co-ordinator for the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said that if the pub, which was built in 1720, were to close it would be devastating.

"The Lion is the last pub in the village and then there's very little on the A12 until you get to Yoxford," he added.

"It is one of the last true traveller's pubs and if it closes then it will be gone for ever."

Pub Licensee Sharon Cripps has claimed that a significant dip in trade means the inn is no longer viable, but CAMRA is calling for that to be put to the test.

"We would like to see a full viability test carried out," Mr Waters said. "If it proves that the pub is on its last legs then it can be openly seen by everyone to be failing.

"We would say don't close it until you can really justify that it's finished. But, if the people can't make a go of it, it should be put on the market so someone else could have a chance at getting it right.

"Pubs are there for the community and for social interaction. Even the Deputy Prime Minister has said one of his key subjects at the moment is sustainable communities and the government want villages to have a post office, shop and a pub.

"If the Lion closes then Glemham has nothing else."

Peter Chaloner, chairman of Little Glemham parish council, said members opposed the conversion plans at a meeting earlier this month.

He stressed that he did feel sympathy for the pub's owners, but added: "It's part of the village's history and it is the last facility we have.

"We lost our shop and post office some time ago and if this goes, then everything is gone for good."

The controversial plans are expected to go before the district council on May 28.


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