Save The Plough at Eathorpe

The Plough, Eathorpe’s public house, is under threat!

The current owner has applied to Warwick DC Planning Department to change the use of The Plough to residential. If he succeeds, this will mean that a past and, potentially, future centre of our village life will be lost for ever. A group of us in the village have committed to do everything we can to stop this from happening. We will, of course, be delighted if you feel able to join in with our campaign.

In its heyday, not so long ago, The Plough was the centre of village life. I remember vividly one Christmas doing a carol singing circuit of the village and ending up there, where the singing continued in a large bar with roaring fire etc. Even under its most recent landlords (who were very much novice publicans), they ran ‘Fish Nights’ and ‘Curry Nights’ which were packed with villagers enjoying the chance not to have to cook. When the present owner bought the pub, he told us on several occasions that he was aiming to reopen it as a pub/restaurant. We do not have too much choice locally, with pubs at Weston and Marton having moved on to other things. We are convinced that The Plough could be run as a very successful business and could once again be a village centre. But, if we want that, we are going to have to fight for it.

The planning application can be seen on the Warwick DC web site at

You will see that many people have already lodged objections to it. If you wish to object also, the form is on the site, and it’s very easy to do.

We think the main reason for objections lies in the 2017 Warwickshire Local Plan ( Section HS8 of this plan has this to say:

HS8 Protecting Community Facilities

Redevelopment or change of use of community facilities that serve local needs will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that:

a) There are similar facilities accessible to the local community by means other than the car, and


b) The facility is redundant and no other user is willing to acquire and manage it, or;

c) There is an assessment demonstrating a lack of need for the facility within the local community.

The owner of The Plough is arguing that item b) applies. His argument is that the pub was run down when he bought it (for a low price – less than £300K) and that he has tried to sell it for over a year. In fact, although it has technically been on sale, the guide price has been set at £800K. It doesn’t take much thought to see the game being played here. If you set too high a price on something, of course nobody will want to buy it! As a comparison, the Buck and Bell in Long Itchington was recently sold for under £500K. This was both a fully fitted and a much larger pub. It’s clear that the current owner of The Plough is over-pricing his property. Why, we wonder?

We should also be concerned about what might happen next in the event that this change of use is approved. One of the likely planning conditions will be that the current car park be redesigned as a garden. Two planning applications have already been rejected which would have built new houses on the car park, and the rejection has been bound up with the fact that a pub needs a car park. But if it’s not a pub…? And if new houses are built on the current car park, then the field next to that becomes potentially just infill – thus more houses. The ultimate prize here for developers is the big potential infill area in Eathorpe village – the central field. I don’t want to be too pessimistic but we could be at the start of a domino cascade, with the end product a TOTALLY different village from that we moved to.

If you want to join the campaign, we have a Facebook group – Save The Plough Eathorpe and a Twitter hashtag #saveplougheathorpe

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