The White Horse Inn: Public Meeting at MPC’s Annual Parish Meeting

The majority of these notes properly form part of the Minutes of Morcott Parish Council’s Annual Parish Meeting held on Tuesday 14 April 2015 in Morcott Village Hall.

Please note that the website administrator has posted these notes (compiled by the Parish Clerk) separately, to maximise ease of access/reference for residents. 

[To assist those villagers who were not present at the meeting, the website administrator has added some guide notes, italicised and in square brackets.]

The White Horse Inn: boarded up

The White Horse Inn: boarded up

1/15     WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION: The chairman, Neil Harding welcomed members and residents of Morcott, David Pennell & Sarah Mayhew Burghley Estates and set out the procedure for the meeting.

2/15     ATTENDANCE REGISTER: Councillors N. Harding (chair), M. Allan, D. Joyce, P. Martin, N. Traylen, B. Tyler & M. Whitfield.  Also County Councillor Edward Baines. 28 Morcott residents were present. David Pennell, Burghley Estates Director and Sarah Mayhew, Assistant Agent.

THE WHITE HORSE INN

Councillor Maureen Allan updated those present on the meetings that she and Councillor David Joyce had held with Burghley.

A map was distributed by Sarah Mayhew to those present showing the area in red being the footprint of the White Horse site and the area marked blue being the adjacent field.

David Pennell [Burghley Estates Director] briefed those present about the financial situation regarding the White Horse Inn. He explained that Admiral Taverns Ltd [to whom the pub had been leased for some years] went into administration in 2010 after an aggressive acquisition strategy left it with more than £1billion of debt, which it was unable to service. At that time five public houses of property owned by Burghley Estates was dropped from Admiral’s portfolio, the White Horse Inn being one of them.

[David Pennell said] In recent years the White Horse Inn “has not been financially viable”, the building, especially the living quarters, not fit purpose and the last tenant went into bankruptcy and left debts. The cost to bring the property up to standard is around £250,000.

[Website editor’s note: David Pennell also said that, as Burghley owned no other property in Morcott, that the White Horse Inn was essentially at the outer edge of the estate’s interests. It only invests in villages where it owns houses it can rent out.]

[At this point, a draft outline showing] development idea for the field was also distributed to those present. Developing the field for housing would raise enough money to bring the White Horse Inn up to standard for it to continue as a pub.

Alternatively [David Pennell said] the White Horse site could be sold for development with no guarantee that the purchaser would keep the building as a pub.

Burghley tried originally to re-let the pub but although there were many viewings and second viewings there was not a take up.

Burghley would like to work with the residents of Morcott to find the best solution.

Questions [were then taken] from the floor: being a condensed summary:

Andrew Johnson; Rent from pub site as it stands or development.   Burghley response; Commercial requirements, that as Burghley Estates is a charity, they have to comply with Charity Act and obtain full market value.

Jane Williams: Has the property been advertised?  Burghley response; Yes, there were 9 – 10 viewings, and 5 – 6 second viewings but no uptake, not currently being advertised and is not currently available for rent.

Marilyn Clayton; How many units (proposed) in the red area?    Burghley response; Four

David Joyce; (commented on the) Demise of the pub over many years.   Burghley response; (David Pennell said he) cannot comment as only been director for five years

Mike DeBar. Number of houses required to finance the pub renovations?    Burghley response: Eight to ten.

Marilyn Clayton: Concern re road access to the site.   Burghley response; No outline plan has been discussed with Rutland County Council.     Envisage 12 – 15 months before plans are submitted.

Chrissie Rouch: Is there similar development by Burghley elsewhere?    Burghley response: No this is new.

Edward Baines: Update on the pub at Tinwell?   Burghley response: This was also an Admiral Pub and the site is due to be developed shortly. The pub will be brought up to standard but there is no guarantee that it will survive. The pub at Barrowden (which is also owned by Burghley) is under pressure.

David Joyce: Why only two plots needed for Tinwells renovation but so much more for the White Horse?      Burghley response; blue sited land on the plan has always been earmarked for development and can be brought forward now. There is a need to maximise capital receipts.

Maureen Allan: Rutland’s Development plan states that as a Smaller Service Centre only 5 units can be built in Morcott on any one site. Since the field is outside the PLD it is classified as countryside and carries much higher planning controls

Edward Baines: Keep options open regarding the Village Plan etc. and consider developing it into a Neighbourhood Plan to increase the village’s influence.

Mo Holley: The minimum number of houses required in the blue?    Burghley response: depending on the size of the houses at least eight. They will be built in local stone etc.

Chrissie Rouch; Target time for viability of the pub once renovated and let?    Burghley response; three or four landlords.

Nick Traylen: Did you work with Tinwell villagers?    Burghley response; No, not a lot of interest.

Philip Giles: The anticipated sale price of the land marked red?     Burghley response; £700,000, a commercial decision needs to be made by the end of  2015.

Graham Pritchard: Start date for the development?     Burghley response; hopefully 2016

The White Horse Inn: ripe for development says Burghley

The White Horse Inn today: its future uncertain

Sue DeBar: Other Admiral public houses owned by Burghley?     Burghley response; Green Dragon Ryhall, Bull and Swan Stamford, Bluebell Easton on the Hill.

Betty Tyler: How many people would like to see houses built on that site?

Mike DeBar: Will the outside of the property be maintained in the interim?    Burghley response; Yes

David Joyce: We want the pub because without a shop, church & pub you have a community declining. Outside passing trade is required to support the pub.

Andrew Johnson: Burghley needs the support of the village to develop the field if not?    Burghley response: Fall back will be the red area and a hammer head will be out in for future development of the field. The red site will be sold and there is no guarantee  that the purchaser will keep the pub. Preference will be to engage with the village to discuss the development of the field and pub.

Marilyn Clayton: This is an historic coaching inn.

There being no other questions, David Pennell and Sarah Mayhew were thanked for attending the meeting. Further discussion will take place at the next Parish Council meeting in May.

Meeting closed at 8.40 pm.

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2 Responses to The White Horse Inn: Public Meeting at MPC’s Annual Parish Meeting

  1. Gina Hacker says:

    I cannot understand why representatives from Burghley Estates came to a meeting with Morcott Parish Council with the wrong information. The White Horse was never an Admiral public house. It was originally run by Pubmaster. For three years up to 2004, the village was plagued with bikers visting the pub. Punch Taverns acquired Pubmaster and the bikers were no longer welcome.
    Finally, the facts regarding Admiral Taverns are incorrect. They were bailed out by Lloyds, reduced their debt and are still operating today.
    When Kim and Matt took over the pub they leased it directly from Burghley.

  2. gerry lawrence says:

    Re The White Horse – why not ask a major food chain to take it over as a food shop/cafe. Not Tesco obviously!!

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