SINCE February this year, the Black Dog Inn at Black Dog has been closed and now the Green family who own it have applied to Mid Devon District Council to turn it into a private house. 

Their planning statement says they have owned the pub for 16 years but since 2016 until this February, they only opened in the evening.  The statement says that the business is unviable and has been for many years.

Their accompanying planning statement says the plan would create several rooms at the ground floor where there had been an open bar.  Work to begin to alter the ground floor from a single bar to several rooms had begun. 

It says this does not affect the fabric of the building with no new windows or external doors.  Internal stud walls and doors have been built to allow comfortable living arrangements for the three family members. 

The document said the applicants had owned and successfully run several pubs across the UK before moving to Black Dog.  Despite having a good reputation, the number of visitors had never reached numbers sufficient to sustain the business and attempts to sell the pub in recent times had met with little or no interest. 

It added that locally there had been three campaigns to make the pub an asset of community value.

However Washford Pyne Parish Council sees things differently saying “it could be a viable and successful entity with the right management and commitment”.

It also believed there was a “willing social group” who could make use of a friendly, well run pub.  It feels the “old pub should be given another chance”. 

One local objector commented that since the pub closed, with no warning or discussion with residents, they have had to drive to socialise, the skittle alley had been closed some years ago meaning an alternative had to be found to play. 

There were a number of other similar comments including that the pub in a village should be the focal point for the community. 

“Socially and mentally it's a must, there is very little else around,” ends one comment, echoed by others.  Full information is on the district council website under planning.