A campaign to re-open a former pub in Peterborough is moving forward after a first public meeting to discuss the issue was held last week.
The campaign to bring back The Cherry Tree in Oundle Road, Woodston, began after a fire at the derelict pub in June.
The pub closed on November 24 last year for financial reasons, with Janet Goldswain, who ran The Cherry Tree, telling the Peterborough Telegraph: “It wasn’t a difficult decision but it was a heart-breaking decision.
“I didn’t want to close, but when it is not making enough money to keep ticking over you don’t have much choice.
“I think people want to stay in and watch reality TV now at home.”
Due to the growing support for the campaign, it held its first public meeting with approximately 60 people including local councillors and officials from CAMRA, with the view of forming a campaign committee.
Pub owners Milton Estates was unable to attend the meeting, but estate manager Robert Dagliesh sent a statement which read: “We are currently reviewing how we take things forward on the site and have a local firm of chartered surveyors preparing a report on future options for the premises, which will likely include development of the back land.
“The pub itself is designated a building of local importance in the Local Plan, therefore scope for the extent of redevelopment of the pub is unclear.”
CAMRA’s pubs officer John Temple voiced his concerns about the closure of The Cherry Tree and other pubs around the Peterborough area.
He said: “An Asset of Community Value application has been submitted via CAMRA so if the pub is listed and then comes up for sale, the new right will give the Woodston community six months to put together a bid to buy it.”
CAMRA invited the campaign group to the Peterborough Beer Festival from August 22-26 to collect signatures for the petition to re-open the pub. The petition will then be presented at a Peterborough City Council meeting in the autumn.
Campaign co-ordinators Anne Skelton and Marija Obradovic have also met up with North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara to discuss a way forward to re-open the pub.
Anne was involved in the previous campaign to keep the pub open in 2004 and she showed Mr Vara newspapers cuttings from the campaign, which he supported.
Marija said: “After this meeting Shailesh kindly offered to liaise with pub owners Milton Estates on the group’s behalf to see if some sort of compromise can be reached in re-opening the pub.”
A petition to ‘Save The Cherry Tree’ can be signed at: www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-the-cherry-tree-pub-campaign.html.