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Village pub home bid thrown out

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Annan and Eskdale
Village pub home bid thrown out

A BID to convert an empty village pub into a house has been rejected after members of the community claimed they want to reopen it as a pub.

The Brig Inn at Brydekirk has been at the centre of a wrangle since it closed last year.

The pub was bought by doctor and mum-of-four Anita Herdeiro, who wants to transform it into a family home.

But her planning application was objected to by 72 people.

Council planning officer Carla Livingstone dealt with the case and recommended it be rejected.

She explained: “The reason for refusal is that it’s not been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the council’s planning authority that the use of the building as a public house is surplus to the needs of the community.”

Objector Sandra Fitzgerald said: “We are a group interested in purchasing the Brig Inn at 5 Bridge Street, with the intention of maintaining it and running it as a public house serving food and drink.

“We believe that the pub would both be commercially viable and a good community asset. We also have considerable support in the village and surrounding areas as evidenced by the number of letters objecting to the application.”

The group submitted a timeline to illustrate the action they have taken since May in order to secure the purchase of the property.

Sandra added: “To date we have been unable to make a formal offer on the property because the applicant has been unwilling to allow our surveyor to inspect the whole of the property, resulting in him inspecting just two rooms on the ground floor.

“The applicant is only willing to offer part of the property for sale, which we believe to be contrary to planning regulations.

“The applicant has failed to date to provide us the details of a solicitor based in Scotland to whom we can make a formal offer.

“Despite this, our solicitor did write to the applicant on August 27, 2021 registering our interest in making an offer for The Brig Inn.

“This letter and correspondence was sent to various postal and email addresses, but the applicant said she has not received them and has to date failed to respond.

“We feel that we have demonstrated that our interest to purchase the Brig Inn is a serious one, and that we are widely supported to maintain it as a community asset.”

Responding, Dr Herdeiro said: “We were very open from the beginning when we bought the Brig Inn that we wanted to convert it to a family home.

“On several occasions we have actually responded to community members and invited them to give an offer, or even to contact us to find a way forward.We haven’t yet received any offer. I have received the letters that have been mentioned, and I have tried to contact the solicitor.”

Annandale South Councillor Ian Carruthers backed the refusal and said: “I’ve had a number of people who are interested in purchasing it approach me and they are coming across as very legitimate.”

The refusal of the application was unanimously agreed by councillors.

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