Real ale may replace night in with a DVD


A watering hole could open in a former video store.

June and Stephen Topham of Bedford Road in Henlow Camp have applied for planning permission to convert the former Blockbuster store in the village’s Hitchin Road into a micropub.

Micropubs are small freehouses with low overheads and maximised use of space. There are more than 30 across the UK, most of which have been set up in old, small shop premises. The Tophams believe this would be the first micropub in Beds, Herts and Bucks.

In the planning application June wrote: “It is our aim to be able to put something back into the community where we live and share this with our neighbours.

“At present there are new houses being constructed in Station Road, Lower Stondon and we would like to think that the micropub will be used by the residents that eventually move into the area.

“We have heard that since Blockbuster closed down local businesses have lost some of their custom. We want to help them get that business back.

“We believe customers of The Old Transporter Ale House will be keen to use the services of the food establishments and other businesses close by and vice versa.”

The micropub would focus on selling cask ale beer, mostly from local micro breweries, and there would also be some bottled beers and lagers, wine, cider and soft drinks plus fresh fruit drinks made on the premises and tea and coffee. Spirits would not be sold.

There would be no fruit machines and televisions.