Jeremy Clarkson ‘wants to buy local pub’
5 mins read

Jeremy Clarkson ‘wants to buy local pub’

Jeremy Clarkson is reportedly keen to buy a pub just 60 miles from Birmingham in a town that is a favourite tourist destination. The Clarkson’s Farm and Grand Tour star is said to be keen to take over the Grade II-listed Coach and Horses in Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds.

Insiders suggest the former Top Gear presenter’s intentions are to “promote British farming” and keep the premises a traditional pub rather than turning them into an events venue. Clarkson is understood to have held talks with Hawkstone Brewery, the pub’s current leaseholders.

The 66-year-old plans to use the site to support the farming community, while respecting residents’ wishes to keep noise levels low, it was said. Coach & Horses, based just across the road from Hawkstone Brewery, had a new premises licence approved by Cotswold District Council earlier this year.

READ MORE: City’s rat hotspots revealed as city faces ‘golden decade’ for grim pests

The 18th century pub, owned by The Stonegate Group, is licensed to serve alcohol from 11am to 11pm seven days a week. The pub is currently leased, meaning it will be let to a tenant at some point in the future. It is advertised on the Stonegate website.

It is believed that in March Clarkson visited Gloucestershire County Council to discuss potential traffic problems at the site. Councillor Jon Wareing raised concerns about the already “massive headache” caused by the area’s motorway problems. He warned that if Clarkson took over the pub there would likely be a significant increase in traffic that would need to be addressed.

He said: “In terms of Jeremy Clarkson’s (Hawkstone) intentions for the pub, I understand that he is keen to promote British agriculture and one way of doing that is to ensure that the local pub serves locally produced food and drink in a family atmosphere and at affordable prices.

“I fully support efforts to support the local farming community, which is still going through some really tough times, and we have some great local meats, cheeses and other fresh produce that we should be celebrating.”

The licence application for the Coach and Horses was mooted due to the pub’s expired licence requiring renewal before it could be sold. Cllr Wareing added: “The Stonegate licence application was watered down following a constructive meeting with the Parish Council earlier this year.

“It was not the intention to convert the Coach and Horses into a nightclub or open-air cinema, as it turned out. An amended licence application was subsequently approved by Cotswolds District Council’s licensing committee.”

Cllr Wareing admitted there was already a “massive” “headache” with traffic congestion and the lack of parking availability was a major problem. He said: “On a sunny weekend, particularly on bank holiday weekends, the Fosseway is often blocked between Moreton-in-Marsh, through Stow-on-the-Wold and on to Bourton-on-the-Water.

“With Jeremy Clarkson’s popularity, if he bought Coach and Horses, who knows how much more footfall he’d generate. And then there’s the issue of parking once they get here.

“Bourton-on-the-Water already has serious problems with tourism and we desperately need a park and walk/ride car park on the outskirts of the village to prevent the village centre from becoming congested. Driving through the village can easily take 50 minutes.

“Imagine needing an ambulance in an emergency. It’s not worth thinking about.”

There are also concerns about noise complaints – initial plans for events across the road at the Hawkstone Brewery were withdrawn after they raised concerns among villagers. An application to extend the licence for the brewery’s tap room has been submitted to cater for larger events of up to 4,000 people, explained Cllr Wareing.

However, the Brewery withdrew from this as it “felt it was an overreaction”. Cllr Wareing said: “I found the management of Hawkstone Brewery to be really co-operative in their desire to be a good neighbour.

“The brewery has a great reputation and locals enjoy the open-air space where they can enjoy locally produced cider and beer, as well as choose from a range of street food.

“The main problem was noise caused by events last year, during which local residents were disturbed late at night by loud music and stand-up comedy performances using profanity. The noise was heard in rooms for families with small children from neighbouring estates.

“This was clearly unacceptable and the Hawkstone management team are now able to get the situation under control. Another issue was light pollution caused by lights being left on all night. Again, this has now been resolved. Talks are ongoing between the brewery and residents.”