Save the Fox & Hounds

Published: 09 June 2020

Please help save the Fox & Hounds

Brasted Parish Council has received the following information regarding an attempt to save The Fox & Hounds pub in Toys Hill. Do contact John Parker / John Phillips / Paul Cooper 01732 863600 / / 01732 700006 if you can help in any way.
As you may know, the recent for-sale sign outside the Fox and Hounds follows a planning application submitted to Sevenoaks District Council to change the use of the pub to a residential property, and this received a large number of objections. Since the Fox is registered as an asset of community value (ACV), the council has been able to impose a moratorium of 6 weeks ending 13 July 2020, during which time eligible community groups can submit an intention to bid if they so wish.
Thus, we have limited time to act. Last week three of us announced our intention (see below) to take a lead and purchase the pub provided at least one other major partner agreed to join us. We are also looking for expressions of local interest and support in the form of smaller shareholdings, skills or expertise. If, like us, you think the Fox must be saved please get in touch without delay.

Background

Despite the efforts that were put in to saving the pub last year the venture did not attract sufficient capital to cover the purchase price plus anticipated costs of renovation and repairs, around £800,000 in total. Subsequently the Fox was sold to an investor who planned to continue the use as a pub but who was unable to find a tenant willing to take on the pub and fund the necessary repairs. The Fox has now been placed back on the market for the same price that the Brewery was asking last year.

This provides a second chance to acquire the pub for the community, faced with the knowledge that the Fox will almost certainly be gone for good if we do not succeed. We consider this would be a tragic loss not just for us but also for future generations, some of the reasons are set out here.

We are sure others feel the same and so three of us, John Parker, John Philips and Paul Cooper have agreed to take a lead and invest funds to purchase the pub, provided at least one other major partner will commit now and join the team. A useful skillset could be legal/professional. After purchase we envisage a further investment of £300,000 to £400,000 will be required for upgrading the pub and we will need others from across the community to join us, willing to invest larger or smaller amounts or to offer services to get the venture up and running. We see local involvement and shareholding as the best long term guarantee for the pub. For locals, we hope shares in the pub will be seen as a worthwhile investment adding value to their homes.

We have visited the Fox, exchanged thoughts on how the future Fox might be and are beginning to plan the way ahead. John Phillips has also met the current owner on site.

If you would like to know more, or are willing to help save the Fox by investing or in some other way, please get in touch. Please respond as soon as possible, we really need to assess the depth of support.

Best wishes
John Parker / John Phillips / Paul Cooper
01732 863600 / / 01732 700006