New owners of The Northbrook Arms have unveiled ambitious plans to refurbish and reopen the 19th Century pub located in East Stratton.
Having been sold earlier this year by Lord Northbrook, The Northbrook Arms in East Stratton has a struggling trading history having been closed for six months prior to the sale; a trend seen with many public houses within the Hampshire area of recent times.
Now, new owners Kate and Adam Shanley have submitted redevelopment plans in a bid to reopen The Northbrook Arms and breathe life back into the run-down site in East Stratton.
The plans include a complete refit of the public house, modernisation of the letting rooms and accommodation, as well as a new spa facility servicing guests staying in the accommodation and the local community. With the exception of three modest building extensions, all of the plans will be housed within the original buildings on site, with extensive renovations taking place to the main house and outbuildings.
The family have a history of successfully renovating and running self-catering accommodation, experience that they believe is the key to making the remote public house ‘viable and sustainable’ moving forward.
“It is clear that the pub (and many like it) have struggled to stay open through traditional trading to a narrow catchment area”, says Kate “we believe that the success to the pub lies in increasing the commercial offering the site has to offer; this means less financial dependence on the immediate community, whilst giving us a competitive point of difference in the marketplace. An independent pub in isolation and remote location does not work. An independent pub supported by self-catering accommodation and spa facilities not only better serves the area but stands a much better chance of being viable, sustainable and robust through trading peaks and troughs”.
In line with the planning application being submitted to Winchester City Council, the new family owners also hosted a Q&A evening for local residents to view plans, ask questions and raise potential concerns. A turnout of 20 out of 53 nearby households attended the evening giving encouraging and positive feedback.
Local historian and East Stratton resident, Patrick Craze commented “the village is delighted at the prospect of regaining our public house, it is good to see that a lot of time, effort and investment will go into restoring all of the sites permanent structures”.
Kate continued, “we’re aware of the responsibility on us and welcome the challenge. There is no doubt that we’re not taking the easy route, but it is important to get the business offering right whilst maintaining the heritage and natural beauty the site has to offer. We’ve had a fantastic warm response from the local community so far which we’re incredibly grateful for”.
Kate and Adam will be the first couple to both own as well as run the pub in the location’s history, with The Northbrook Arms having previously been occupied by series of licensees.
Lord Northbrook said “having been part of the family estate for generations, it was important that we found someone not only with the ambition and vision to make the pub work, but that wanted to do it in a way that compliments the village – we’re pleased to see this is happening”.
The official planning application was registered with Winchester City Council is now available to review online via their planning section. For more information on The Northbrook Arms or to subscribe to their mailing list, please contact [email protected].