After a few months of consultation with the council, it has been agreed that we need to submit a change of use for our new beer garden, as it will now be for the pub rather than just a private garden. We have already started the work as we need to tidy the area, if we cannot use it for our customers, then it will remain a private garden for the new franchisee of the Offley Arms.

In summary, the community survey, completed by the save the Offley Arms Steering Group, found that 86% of respondents felt that a beer garden and outside space was important or very important to the village. In response, we looked at how we could provide a beer garden in our scheme. In the end, we agreed to buy some garden from Don Colclough, a strong supporter of the Steering Group, he didn’t use it much, and he felt it would compliment the pub very well, its setting and of course give the pub a small garden that overlooks the pool.

We also now know that pubs need more space, and outside space, especially, so we can manage risk in these difficult times. We all hope this is not forever, but we do think space will be a long term issue for pub design, even after COVID.

For us, a beer terrace overlooking the pool for a lovely village pub will make for a great addition and something nice for our customers to enjoy. It is of course, very naturally, a big concern for our near neighbours on Waterside Close, so we have agreed to close it at 10 pm and to screen it thoughtfully. Also, we have agreed not to have any openings to Waterside Close to ensure we do not cause any disturbance. We see the garden as being simple, a few benches for pleasant days with a view of the pool.

We want your support, have your say and let the planners know; after all this is a pub for your community.

We will, of course, keep you all posted with updates on this page.

Steve Nuttall
Joules Brewery