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George gets go-ahead
By Geoff Hodgkinson, Co-Editor

July 18, 2009: Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises has received approval for its planning application to rebuild the historic George Hotel. The company hopes building work will start in October and that the new inn will be completed during summer 2010. The anticipated cost of the rebuild is around £2.5 million. The front of the building will be very similar to the original, says S&N, with painted rendered walls and timber windows carefully selected to closely match the previous style. As before, the building will be predominantly thatched using a local reed and employing traditional methods. Inside the traditional look will continue using natural materials such as flagstones, cobbles and oak beams. Says Richard Jackson S&N Pub Enterprises Project & Building Manager, “We want to create the feeling that the building is old but has recently been restored. It is not intended to be a new “soulless building” but, like all good thatched inns, to have plenty of character and charm.” The central open courtyard is retained. To give a cosy, traditional feel, the pub will be separated into a series of nooks and crannies and there will be open fireplaces throughout. 'Relaxed and informal' is how S&N describe it. They add: "In a new addition, there will also be a separate area off the ground floor pub for private dining, functions and meetings." Hmmm! What is interesting though is that the proposed staircase cutting across the cobbled 'street' has been shifted, leaving a clear path through as before. A recruitment campaign for a new lessee to take on the George is now starting. Says Richard Jackson, “We’ve already had calls from a number of people, although no final decision will be taken for some months.” Anyone interested should contact S&N Pub Enterprises recruitment manager for the South West, Eve Snook on 07917 751542. We'll get pdfs of the revised floor plans online shortly.

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