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Pub will stay in business as a mystery buyer snaps it up
THE sale of one of West Oxford’s few remaining pubs is set to be completed.
An unknown buyer is to purchase The Holly Bush on Osney Island which is advertised as “sold” by estate agent Fleurets.
Earlier this year Greene King, which owns the North Street pub, decided to sell it.
The Suffolk-based brewery said The Holly Bush, which is still trading, “no longer fits in with our core estate”.
It was marketed as a “development opportunity”, raising concerns that it could be put to other use, such as housing.
Yet Greene King says the pub is being sold as a pub. It is also a bed and breakfast and this role will be part of its licence.
Any change of use other than a pub would require permission from Oxford City Council.
Greene King Pub Partners managing director Simon Longbottom said: “The pub has not yet been sold but we are in discussions with a potential buyer, the details of which must remain confidential at this stage.”
The other two pubs in the area are The Kite in Mill Street and The Punter, also on Osney Island.
The Osney Arms in Botley Road closed in 2011 because of a lack of custom and has since become a bed and breakfast.
Greene King sold The George Inn, Botley Road, in 2011 and hi-fi retailer Richer Sounds has opened a store there.
West Oxford once had seven pubs including The Carpenters Arms, now McDonald’s, and The White House, now a Chinese restaurant.
East Street resident Jude Carroll said: “There are a lot of people who do want it to stay as a pub.
“It is good to have two pubs on the island, and one that is outward facing, but for me it wouldn’t be a problem if it did become housing.”
There has been a pub on the site since 1842 when it was called the Bush and Railway. The pub was renamed The Holly Bush in 1897 and rebuilt in 1935.
It was named after an inn on the site of what is now the Royal Oxford Hotel in the 16th century.
Greene King refused to comment on the intentions of the buyer.
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