An historic village pub will go up at auction next month, despite a strong public campaign to try and secure its future.
The Lamb Inn in Ripe was closed in January 2015 and earlier this year, hundreds of local residents backed calls to stop the site being sold to developers.
However, the Church Lane pub will be among 145 lots being sold by regional land and property auctioneers Clive Emson on June 15, with a freehold guide price of £275,000 to £300,000.
Emma Attrell, senior auction valuer, said: “The building, offered with vacant possession, is considered suitable for a variety of commercial uses or perhaps conversion or redevelopment to residential, subject to all necessary consents being obtained.”
Sitting on a large 0.26-acre site, the former pub includes a cellar, two bars, a restaurant and accommodation over two upper floors.
Councillor Philip Ede said: “The permanent loss of the historic Lamb Inn would be a tragedy. This is the pub where the legendary author Malcolm Lowry, who lived in the village, drunk his last. It is where generations of Ripe families have celebrated, commiserated, and commemorated over a convivial drink for over a hundred years. To close it down and contemplate its end was, I believe, shortsighted. It still has potential as a successful pub, if only investors would recognise that.”
Maria Caulfield MP also backed the campaign to save the Lamb Inn. She said: “One of my key pledges is to support our rural and village communities. I know how important the Lamb Inn is to the people of Ripe and keeping it as a pub is vital for the local community.
“While housing is vital, we desperately need the infrastructure to support it, including community facilities such as local pubs.”
The auction will be at the Brighton Metropole on Wednesday, June 15, at 11am.
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