THE owners of a rural pub on the Herefordshire border have said they want to close down over the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and the cost of living crisis.

Phil and Debra Wright, who own The Baron at Bucknell, on the border near Leintwardine, have tried to sell the business, asking for offers over £1.8 million without success for nine months.

That was what Shropshire Council planners were told as the couple sought permission to planning consent, and listed building consent, to change the use of the pub and hotel into a house.


They also wanted to demolish the buildings linking the "Baron of Beef" pub and the grade II-listed Turkey Hall, the house where they live. They also want to build domestic garages.

A statement submitted by consultants Inklines said Mr and Mrs Wright had run a successful business at the Chapel Lawn Road site for 16 years but recent market conditions have made this increasingly difficult.

It has led to the point where the business, first opened in the 1980s, is no longer viable, it said.

It blamed coronavirus, the cost of living crisis putting additional pressure on running a pub and hotel and the difficulty in recruiting good staff since Brexit and the pandemic.

Hereford Times:

"The applicants want to retire from the industry and have marketed the property for over nine months with Fleurets leisure property specialists," the statement said.

It also said there has been no interest in the sale of the business and Fleurets' belief was that in the current economic climate, the business is extremely unlikely to sell.

"If the current situation continues there is a very real prospect that the Baron of Beef will close," it added, but said Bucknell would still be left with one pub, the Sitwell Arms,

At a meeting in March, Bedstone and Bucknell Parish Council decided to object to the plans as councillors would prefer to see the pub remain as a village amenity, providing jobs for local people, and an attempt should be made to sell the pub as a going concern.

Plans will be decided by Shropshire Council at a future date.