Member of Parliament for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Dr Dan Poulter, has met with concerned residents to lend his support to a campaign to save their local village pub, The Queen in Brandeston.
Dr Poulter was concerned to learn just before Christmas that an application had been submitted to East Suffolk Council’s Planning Department seeking to change the use of The Queen Public House to a private residential dwelling. Since then, a number of residents have been in touch asking for Dr Poulter’s support and he has written to East Suffolk Council’s Chief Executive and Head of Planning in support of keeping The Queen open as a pub and objecting to the proposed change of use.
The pub has been closed since its sale in November 2022, with no assurances about a future reopening date. Until its closure, the Queen was a popular and thriving pub, well used by local residents and visitors to the area. Having the presence of a local pub as a hub for the community is vital in rural villages and in an attempt to meet local demand, a group of volunteers have set up “The Churchill Arms” – a regular pop-up pub operating from Brandeston Village Hall. Dr Poulter was pleased to meet a number of residents enjoying their Friday evening at “The Churchill Arms” in Brandeston, where he reassured them of his support for their campaign.
Dr Poulter said “Having been a regular customer of The Brandeston Queen myself, It is saddening to hear that local residents face the prospect of losing their much loved community pub. Throughout the Covid pandemic, the Brandeston Queen became a true community hub providing a pop up community shop and takeaway meals, a service which was highly valued by local residents.
“Since the Queen has been closed, local residents have missed the opportunity to meet up for social gatherings and I commend them on their efforts to create the “Churchill Arms.” On Friday evening, I would say there were over 80 local residents in attendance, clear testament to the support and need for a local village pub. I have written to East Suffolk Council setting out my concerns at the potential loss of such a valued community asset and I will continue to do all that I can to support local residents in their aspiration to have The Queen returned as a village pub.”
Brandeston’s Churchill Arms pop-up pub was started by Pat and Darryl Morgan and Helen Fletcher one year ago.
Darryl Morgan said “We never expected to be running the pop up twelve months on, but we have obviously filled a big gap caused by the closure of the Queen. Brandeston residents have shown tremendous support by attending and helping. We’re very pleased that Dr Dan also showed his support last Friday, listening to villagers’ comments and objecting to the change of use of the Queen. We all want our village pub back.”