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Landlords of The Three Horseshoes, in Letchmore Heath, 'feel attacked' by residents over pub closure
A "divided" village has left the owners of a Letchmore Heath pub feeling "attacked" by residents.
The Three Horseshoes, in The Green, is currently listed as an asset of community value, meaning that the owners of the pub, who intended to sell the property earlier this year, are unable to do so before December 10.
Until that time a charity, community interest company, or non-profit making company or society can make a bid for the 400-year-old building.
Pub owners, Carol Thornton and Garry Dunks, say the listing of the pub as a community asset and the delay in selling the property that has come about as a direct result has caused a lot of stress and sadness.
Miss Thornton said: "It has always been a divided village and now they’ve gone to the council and stopped us from doing what we wanted with the pub.
"This whole process has been so sad and stressful because this is not only our business but our home and our livelihood."
The pub is the only community facility in the village, and was listed as an asset of community value by Hertsmere Borough Council in May, following a nomination from Aldenham Parish Council.
Earlier this month, a public meeting was held in Aldenham War Memorial Hall, in Grange Lane, as a means to gauge the strength of feeling within the local area behind the bid.
The pair, who have been running The Three Horseshoes for the past seven years, said they did not attend the meeting, as they felt it would add fuel to the fire, because of the hostility that is present in the area.
Miss Thornton said: "We are so angry at how a local small self-interest group feels they have the right to interfere with the running and future of our business."
After December 10, the pub’s owners can dispose of the pub as they wish, and are under no obligation to give first refusal to a community interest group.
Mr Dunks said he is reluctant to sell to the group, because of the way he feels they have gone about things.
He added: "I would not sell the pub to them now in a million years. I think half of them don’t want to buy the pub. I feel as though we’re being personally attacked."
The owners were approached by a potential buyer earlier this year who wanted to buy the property and turn it into a gastro pub.
Mr Dunks added: "I don’t really want to move on, but I’m fed up of all this hassle."
David Sell, who has lived in the village for 28 years, said he does not agree with the way some of the local villagers have gone about things.
Mr Sell said: "We’re really angry about this because people shouldn’t behave in this way, it’s not civilised. Garry and Carol have been nothing but welcoming to everyone that comes to the pub."
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