Community support for Billingshurst pub landlord in car park controversy
A wave of public support is being shown to a Billingshurst pub landlord whose car park has become the centre of controversy.
The car park at the Six Bells in Billingshurst High Street has been frequently used by vehicles during lockdown.
Drivers have been dodging barriers to get into the car park - then leaving their cars there for hours.
The pub is currently closed and undergoing a spruce-up before reopening next month and business owner Maurice Toal is worried that workmen can’t get access.
And he’s concerned that people’s cars could be damaged if left there when workmen’s vehicles arrive.
“We’ve got building works going on at the moment,“ he said. “There are two barriers up outside but people are literally moving them and parking here.
“We’ve got concrete wagons coming next week. We’re getting ready for reopening and have groundworks, including in the car park, taking place.
“We are having two marquees with flooring and heating so people can enjoy it if it’s cold or wet.
“We’re a community pub and we’re trying to make it safe for everyone. We’re spending a lot of money so people can enjoy it.”
He added: “The car park has got to stay clear. There is literally a public car park round the corner.”
Some villagers have taken to social media to express anger at not being able to use the car park, but others are supporting the pub, pointing out that it’s private land.
Maurice said that although renovation works had started, they would begin ‘in earnest’ next week and the week after.