Residents of Chardstock have launched a petition, calling for the grade 2 listed pub, The George Inn to be refurbished.

The George Inn Continuity Group, (GICG) and Chardstock Parish Council have sent an open letter to the Wellington Pub Company and others asking for the pub to be restored, the letter was presented to Axminster councillor Paul Hayward in November.

The group say that "The George Inn, Chardstock, has now been closed and empty for the last three years, since the Covid lockdown. The previous two tenants both went bankrupt and were forced to cease trading, being unable to make the business profitable."

The pub is registered as an Asset of Community Value with East Devon District Council. The letter is now asking East Devon District Council to reduce the rent to make it affordable to run, and to reduce the terms of lease from 20 years to 10.

3) Full-repairing lease. The George Inn is a Grade 2-star listed, thatched building in poor and deteriorating condition. These factors represent additional costs for any incoming tenant, e.g. insurance, when compared to a non-listed/non-thatched property. The WPC should consider undertaking works on the property to bring it up to a 'move in' standard in order to improve the offer, maintenance and appearance of the building.

Ian Cockburn, chair of the GICG said: "Over the last three years, The George Inn has been an asset lost to our community. The WPC is part of a group providing support to the Reuben Foundation, which is ‘committed to the betterment of society in the UK and around the globe through focused charitable giving in the areas of education, health and the community’. We would hope that the Reuben Foundation might extend their community values to this corner of Devon.

"We hope that the WPC see this letter as a constructive and helpful document to assist them in achieving a tenancy and the ongoing success of The George Inn. We hope to be enjoying the pub’s hospitality in the near future."