The coronavirus may have claimed another victim, this one being a much-loved pub in Chorleywood, which could get replaced by flats if the planning application submitted is successful.
Jeff Hall and Rhonda Oakley, owners of The Rose & Crown pub on Old Common Road, have filed a planning application which will see the village pub replaced by two flats if the council gives approval.
Jeff said: “In the long term, with everything that has been going on with COVID-19, I don’t think our little pub will be a viable business because it’s so small.
“I am 63 now, so I am looking to retire relatively soon, I don’t know for sure but I would imagine the price of a pub would have halved over the past three months. Like everybody we need a pot of money to retire on and about a year ago the pub was probably worth a million and now it’s probably worth £300,000.
“There’s no way we could sell the pub, no one in their right mind would want to buy one in the foreseeable future.”
Jeff and Rhonda have been running the pub for 25 years and it is a big asset in the community, they expect people to have mixed feelings about seeing it go.
He added: “I’ll miss the pub, of course, we’ve been here for 25 years. people go out drinking, eating whatever they want to do and in the past 25 years we had a lot of fun with our customers, we’ve met some fantastic people.
“Even though we haven’t been at the pub for the last 14 weeks, we still keep in touch with many of our customers. We had a great time and we’ll miss it tremendously.
“Everyone will have mixed feelings, some people won’t be very happy about it but I would like to think that most people will see that we’ve given 25 years of our lives to the pub, and hopefully they will be understanding, we shall see.”
Speaking with resident Roger Foord about the possibility of seeing the pub go, he mentioned: “It will be the first pub to close in Chorleywood I think for fifty years. I’ve been going there for many years as many of us have and obviously it’s a bit disappointing, but on the other hand the pub wasn’t going to be a viable business for Jeff so he decided to get residential permission.
“He’s going to make more money that way and I don’t blame him. From my point of view a lot of people will miss it.”
Jane Tozer, chairman of the Chorleywood Residents’ Association gave her personal view on the matter.
She said: “I haven’t seen the application yet, but it would be very sad to see the pub go I think it’s much loved throughout Chorleywood. It’s been a very popular pub.”