The White Horse Inn Morcott is set at the east end of the High Street at the junction of the A47 and A6121 Stamford Road. Sadly, the pub closed several years ago and as at June 2019 it seems likely that it will be sold for development (see latest MPC report).
The building and the land adjoining the A47/A6121 junction is owned by Burghley House Preservation Trust which in 2015 began to engage with the village through Morcott Parish Council in constructive discussions regarding an imaginative renovation and development proposal.
At a Public Consultation in July 2016, Burghley Estate presented proposals to make a major investment in the pub, so that it might re-open as a ‘new’ White Horse. The proposal is dependent on the remainder of the site – including the paddock bordering the A47 – being developed for housing. This paddock is outside the ‘planned limit of development’ as set by Rutland County Council.
There has understandably been debate about this! Some have been opposed to the idea of any development, even if it means the pub re-opening; others believe that some new houses would be a fair exchange for a ‘new’ White Horse Inn and small playground for children. Some villagers hold no view either way.
In September 2017 an official Village Poll was held. The question asked was: “Do you support the current linked proposals by Burghley Estate to build houses on the Paddock including the refurbishment of the White Horse Inn?”
164 valid votes were recorded (turnout 58%). The number of YES votes = 94 (57.32%). The number of NO votes = 72 (42.68%). The result demonstrated that the majority of villagers who held a view WERE IN FAVOUR of the Planned Limit of Development being extended to allow development of the Paddock.
HOWEVER Rutland County Council planning officers have recently stated that the Village Poll result is not significant enough to influence planning rules, and have advised Burghley Estate that any application that includes the paddock will be rejected. In the light of this advice, Burghley Estate is now making plans to offer the White Horse Inn site for sale.