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Inn may become shops or homes


By Peter Harris


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A landmark public house faces an uncertain future after owners put it up for sale as a de-licensed property with a guide price of £600,000.

The freehold for the Turk’s Head on London Road, Balderton, is for sale by private treaty with Leeds-based agents Colliers CRE.

The pub opened in the 1960s as a flagship establishment for the John Smith’s brewery.

It is now owned by Enterprise Inns, which owns 7,000 pubs nationally, including the Chesters at Balderton, The Castle and Falcon in Newark, and The Fox at Kelham.

The tenant landlady of two years, Miss Debbie Antcliff (48) said the for sale sign went up two weeks ago on the 0.72-acre site. It came as a surprise to her.

She said Enterprise had told her that the pub was likely to be sold to another brewery as part of a package of pubs, but she was shocked to see it was now being marketed as a de-licensed property and would not be a pub in the future.

She said she had improved trade, and security had been tightened by having a security camera moved near to the pub carpark.

She said: “I have put a lot of my own money into this place with new heating and lighting, but I am not going to get any of it back.

“Unfortunately the pubs are no longer run by breweries but by people in the City banks who have to answer to shareholders.”

Miss Antcliff said trade had dropped since the smoking ban came into force, and they were having to deal with vandalism.

A window was smashed with a brick on Sunday night after the pub closed, and two other windows had been smashed in recent weeks.

She said customers had less disposable income to spend in the pub.

Miss Antcliff said she had rid the pub of drugs after finding customers openly rolling cannabis joints on the tables.

She said: “The customers have been fantastic, but it is quite a difficult pub to run in terms of location.”

She said many businesses on Main Street depended on the pub’s 45-space carpark, which was used by hundreds of people every day.

Viable

She said when the pub first opened it was plush and fashionable, but since then it had too many temporary managers and holding companies owning it.

A spokesman for Enterprise Inns said the pub was being sold as a de-licensed property because it was no longer viable as a business, both for them and the tenant.

A spokesman for Colliers CRE said the property was generating interest from buyers who could turn the site into a parade of shops, or a residential development.


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