Campaigners hoping to bring back the Dyke Road Tavern as a pub after its unexpected closure have reacted with ‘surprise’ to the landlord’s latest plans for the site.
The pub closed in September when landlord Martin Webb revealed the pub was making a loss. He reopened the building as an antiques shop, but was faced with fierce resistance from the local community.
A group called Save the Dyke was set up, and the campaigners were successful in their bid to get the building listed as an asset of community value (ACV).
But this week, Mr Webb, who owns the building, has revealed new plans for the site. He said: “The whole ground floor is a shop and it’s going really well. But we are listening to neighbours, Save the Dyke and friends in the area, and we think there is a possibility of opening half the ground floor as a pub.
“A cosy, decent sized pub, with a couple of houses in the back garden and a flat. It will be a compromise.”
He said by building the houses and flat, and keeping the antiques shop open, the small pub may be a viable business.
Ian Fardell, from the Save the Dyke group, said: “Although Martin Webb has stated that he has discussed this plan with the community, it was actually only mentioned in passing – and he said that the smaller pub would only happen on the proviso that we didn’t object to his plans for townhouses in the beer garden. We have not got an opinion either way – this [Tuesday] was the first we’d heard of it. Until such time as we know what’s being offered, we can’t respond.
“This is not the community group saying ‘no’; it’s us asking ‘what are you actually offering and what is the retail part of the building going to be?’ How are we supposed to support something we don’t know about?
“We are happy and open to discussing plans with Martin and await his response to an invitation [sent on Monday] to this end.”