Petition launched to save Northampton pub after owners lodged plan to convert it into a shop

The Barn Owl in Rectory Farm. Google image.

The Barn Owl in Rectory Farm. Google image.

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A petition has been launched to save a Northampton pub after its owners lodged a planning application to turn the popular venue into a foodstore.

The Barn Owl in Olden Road, Rectory Farm, is owned by Hawthorn Leisure and stands less than 100 metres away from a Costcutter shop.

But in the new year Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee will hear plans to convert the two storey venue into a mini-supermarket.

Hawthorn Leisure said: “We are currently reviewing options for the future of the Barn Owl and whilst we go through this process, there is no proposed date for closure.”

But some residents say losing the pub would be a big loss for the community and Councillor James Hill (Con, Rectory Farm) has launched a petition asking Hawthorn Leisure to keep the venue open as it is.

He said: “There are a few reasons we don’t want to see it go. Mainly the residents don’t want to lose an important community facility.

“It has been there a long time and it is an important part of life here.

“The second reason is the fact the Costcutter down the road which is very well respected.

“There are also issues about he road in the area, which is in a poor state. We think any extra traffic will contribute to the road worsening.”

It has not been confirmed which firm would operate the convenience store at this stage.

But members of the public have lodged objections to Northampton Borough Council over the planning application.

Paul Curtis, of Collyweston Road, wrote: “I cannot understand why we would need another shop in Rectory Farm, when the shop we have is perfectly adequate for our needs.”

Paul Hewson, wrote: “Although times are changing and the British public do not visit pubs as often as they used to, the Barn Owl provides a central meeting place for the estate when it is needed.”

To sign the petition head to the Costcutter on Olden Road where it is currently posted on the shop’s notice board.

The Rectory Farm Residents’ Association is set to hold a meeting at the Barn Owl, at 7.30pm on Tuesday, December 15, where they will discuss the moves being made to save it. Anyone can attend.