Rose blooms again after closure
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A pub in a village near Stevenage, Hertfordshire is set to reopen next year, thanks to a campaign from residents.
Beer has not been served at the Rose & Crown in Aston since December 2014, but it is set to flow again as it prepares to open its doors again in June next year – almost a decade after it closed.
Brewer McMullen sold the Grade II-listed pub on Benington Road to a developer in 2015, but a series of planning applications for up to 10 homes on the plot were rejected by East Herts District Council following objections from villagers.
A campaign group was organised by resident Steve Brown, acting as Rose & Crown Aston Ltd.
It was able to reach a deal with the developer in 2022, where the new company supported a smaller housing scheme on part of the land and, in return, it would be able to purchase the pub, its car park, and a small garden.
More than 80 people contributed between £500 and £25,000 each towards a fund totalling £285,000 for buying and restoring the building. They have all received shares in Rose & Crown Aston.
Brown said: “We are very excited that after a long bureaucratic battle, we have taken possession of our much-loved local pub and are finally working towards getting it back open.
“We are a sociable bunch in Aston and, although we've found other ways of getting together, we have sorely missed the opportunity to sit down together over a pint of beer and a meal in our local pub.
“The Rose & Crown has been part of village life for decades, used by all generations and various sports and social clubs.
“It was heartbreaking to see it close and face a future as modern housing. We recognise the huge challenge ahead of us but hope that the right tenant will see the love villagers feel for the pub and help us make it a successful and a happy place once more.
“Although none of the shareholders have experience in running a pub, we have a lot of people with backgrounds in different industries and businesses and believe that between us we have the experience and passion to make it work.
"We will now start the process of looking for a tenant to run the pub, with the primary criteria being that they understand what we are trying to achieve and get the community spirit once more.”
Pictured: Rose & Crown Aston directors Graham Saunders, Roger Cottam, Graham Ellis, Brian Woodget and Steve Brown