Café saved - but rent will still rise
Published: 23 Jan 2013 17:303 comments
THE owners of a café which was told it could face a 1,000% rent hike were rejoicing this week, as councillors agreed to be more lenient.
Pauline Jordan, 54, and husband Andy have owned the Pinewood Bar and Café, in Old Wokingham Road, for more than two years - attracting in a variety of customers from across Bracknell, Wokingham and Crowthorne.
But the couple were dealt a devastating blow in October when site-owner, Wokingham Without Parish Council, told them that their annual £2,000 rent would soar to £22,000.
The rent and a petition - which had more than 300 signatures from people wanting to save the café - were discussed at the Wokingham Without Parish Council meeting at the St Sebastian's Memorial Hall, in Nine Mile Ride, on Monday, with councillors voting six to three that the rent rise will be more modest.
Mrs Jordan told the News: "We were absolutely relieved - afterwards we came back to the bar and just had a celebratory drink.
"It's much more manageable and means now we can go on, something which we were really very worried about."
The couple's new rental charges will be fixed until January 2015, at which time it will be reviewed again.
"I don't think it will be the same scenario next time," Mrs Jordan said. "I think the council realise we are not a high street premises, we don't get off-the-street customers and other clubs and businesses in Pinewood are benefitting from us being here."
She added: "I definitely think we have learn a lot from it."