Holt publican hopes to replace farm shop with holiday accommodation

This Is Wiltshire: Mark Hodges took over The Tollgate Inn, which included a farm shop, with his partner Laura Boulton in August 2012 Mark Hodges took over The Tollgate Inn, which included a farm shop, with his partner Laura Boulton in August 2012

A Holt pub is hoping to provide more accommodation in the village after it submitted plans for a change of use from a farm shop to holiday accommodation.

Mark Hodges took over The Tollgate Inn, which included a farm shop, with his partner Laura Boulton in August 2012 and has enjoyed success with the business.

He said: “Since we have taken over, the business has grown. It has been a lot busier.

“The idea for the holiday accommodation came about because we didn’t get the footfall in the farm shop.

"We bought it from the previous owners when the pub used to be closed in the afternoons, but now we are open all day and serve cakes, sandwiches, coffees and teas.

"Everything that people used to enjoy in the farm shop we now do in the pub.”

The 16th century pub already has four en-suite bed and breakfast rooms, which have earned it a Four Star AA Award, but the proposed self-contained accommodation will include a kitchenette, bathroom, lounge, a family bedroom and a parking bay at the front.

Minor alterations to carry this out will include the conversion of the first floor store area for the bathroom and the construction of a studwork partition on the ground floor to provide a division between the living area and bedroom.

Mr Hodges added: “Holt is an amazing location. We are near the Courts Garden, Chalfield Manor and Lacock. It is two miles from Bradford on Avon and eight miles away from Bath.

“We are going for a different market. If people are looking to stay for a week, a bed and breakfast can be expensive. With this, they will have their own kitchen and self-contained unit, which can be used by friends and families.”

The plans will need to be approved by Wiltshire Council for the change of use to go ahead.

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