CRANBOURNE residents are living “a nightmare” as the long-term closure of the community’s pub continues to make locals’ lives a misery.

Bracknell News:

The Squirrels Bar and Restaurant has been closed since the last tenants left two years ago and since then landlords have placed concrete bollards around the car park and have boarded up the windows at the site.

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Owners Star Pubs have been slammed by neighbours for letting the site become “a mess” and an “eyesore”, as a wildly overgrown garden and run-down car park has become a hotspot for rats.

Bracknell News:

Rita Stewart, who lives two minutes from the site, told the News: “I have lived here 13 years and when I first moved to Winkfield it was packed every night.

“Now there’s absolutely nothing here.

“It is depressing to have to live like this. It is such a lovely area. If it is not going to open they could come to clean it up.”

Bracknell News:

The pub’s closure has caused a string of problems for Cranbourne residents, with the council’s Environmental Health team being called to help with the rodent problem, increasing reports of anti-social behaviour and graffiti around the deserted site, and the reduction in parking spaces meaning businesses and drivers have suffered too.

Bracknell News:

But one of the primary issues concerning neighbours of the bar is the loss of an important social space in their village.

Lynne Moynes said: “A lot of us used to come up here to have a drink, but now there’s nowhere within walking distance.

“We’re having to travel to socialise. You feel cut off as there’s nowhere to get together with people.

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“There’s a lot of single older people that we used to see having a drink, but now you don’t see them at all.”

Bracknell News:

The two-year closure has bewildered residents who described the spot as a “goldmine” as it was the ‘last pub before Legoland’ in Windsor.

Dozens of residents have tried to alert owners to the health and safety issues at The Squirrels, including councillor Moira Gaw, ward member for Winkfield and Cranbourne.

Cllr Gaw said: “I have tried so hard to get a response from anybody at Star Pubs. There’s just no reply.”

“They said they were going to transform it into a gastropub but since then they’ve gone completely quiet.

“It could be like this for another ten years, so we want to shake Star Pubs into action.”

Bracknell News:

A number of residents who spoke to the News want to see the pub re-open, but many just want to see action taken to revitalise the site.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, added: “Star Pubs have got no respect for anybody living in this area.

“By the amount of people here it shows how concerned everybody is.

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“People have got to live here - it’s a nightmare.”

Star Pubs has been contacted for comment.

Bracknell News: