Villagers in Bosham showed resounding support for the re-opening of a pub which has been closed for nearly two years.
More than 120 people packed into the meeting called by Nick and Tina Irish, the prospective owners of the White Swan, as they looked to see what the community wanted from them if they were granted a licence to run the pub.
A show of hands saw all but six support the re-opening of the pub, with those who did object raising concerns about noise levels and anti-social behaviour seen under previous managements.
Villagers said it looked like an eye-sore at the moment and badly needed to re-open to give somewhere for the north Bosham community to meet up.
Mrs Irish said: “We met some of the objectors and they are all really nice people and we fully understand the things they are saying, but some of the things are not under our control.
“We would like to thank everyone for being there and taking the time to come out on a cold evening.
“We would like to thank the people who were not in support who came as well because it was a brave thing to do.”
One of the objectors said he had concerns about three things: “Prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, my safety has been threatened on a number of occasions, and public nuisance. I don’t feel that any of these concerns have been mediated at all.”
Mrs Irish added: “It’s going to be our home. We have three small children, we have to face the fact they are going to be upstairs asleep, not downstairs taking part in all the fun, in a way it will restrict what we do.”
Representatives were in attendance from Chichester District Council environmental health and licensing departments as well as Sussex Police’s licensing team.
The environmental health rep raised concerns about how the noise levels would affect the adjoining property, which used to form part of the pub.
Five official objections were made before the deadline of November 24 about the licence application.
The next phase is for Mr and Mrs Irish to discuss the problems with the objectors to see if a solution can be found, if not the application will be heard by CDC’s licencing committee, who will listen to evidence from the applicants, and objectors before making a decision.
If it is decided by the committee, that is likely to be sometime in January.
Mr and Mrs Irish are asking anyone with comments of support to email email@example.com, so they can use it as part of their case for a licence.
A website has also been launched so punters can keep track of their progress - www.thewhiteswanbosham.com.