A HAMLET is to lose its historic pub now change of use has been granted to permit it to become a home for the owners.

The Arscott Arms at Chapmans Well, St Giles on the Heath had been closed for two years when Mark and Narty Glenister rescued it in 2018.

The couple invested £150,000 in an extensive refurbishment and reopened the pub in November 2018 six days a week.

But, despite their best efforts, COVID-19 and the increasing cost of living have led to the business being unviable.

The business was already disadvantaged by its location, only being close to a limited number of homes, it has not been able to attract or sustain a constant flow of business.

The Chapmans Well caravan park is located opposite the Arscott Arms which also has an open public licensed drinking and restaurant facilities.

COVID hit in March 2020, presenting more challenges, and since then the Arscott Arms has limited its opening hours further.

The statement with the planning application said: ‘Whilst the downturn in business is not solely down to COVID-19, COVID-19 has affected the business and other aspects which are now apparent.

‘The applicants have reviewed their turnover including future price increases and it is no longer viable to keep the Arscott Arms open based on the current utilities, brewery, local food price increases and general running costs.’

The pub has struggled to survive since 2007 when it was first put on the market for £595,000 but there were no viewings for two years.

The price was reduced to £495,000 in 2009 attracting just two viewings.

Between 2010 and 2018 there were no viewings, and the price was gradually reduced eventually reaching £330,000.

This was despite Torridge District Council approving a change of use from a pub to a dwelling back in 2014.

The statement concluded: ‘Whilst the applicants fully appreciate the historical aspect of the property and the sadness that it will bring to local residents, the applicants can no longer continue to run the Arscott Arms business at a loss and would like to continue to live within the Arscott Arms and turn this well-loved 17th century building into their permanent home.’