Award-winning pub-restaurant operator to unveil plans for new venue in Prestwood

How the Polecat in Prestwood will look after a 'sympathetic redesign'

The Tring-based, award-winning pub group, Oakman Inns, will be holding an exhibition of their plans for Prestwood’s Polecat Inn at Prestwood Village Hall tomorrow (Friday January 5).

All residents are welcome for the exhibition which will run between 2pm and 7pm and and teas and coffees will be available.

The Polecat Inn as it looks now

Part of the Parish of Great Missenden in Bucks, the Prestwood villagers and their neighbours will be able to see for themselves Oakman Inns’ proposals, and to comment, before they appear before the Planning Committee on the 11th January.

The exhibition will show detailed drawings and plans displaying the low-rise proposed extension, the alterations to the car park, the inclusion of a detailed environmentally-beneficial design, with, for example, electric car charging points and renewable energy sources.

Among the many features of the proposed designs are improved access and parking for elderly and disabled customers, as well as improved disabled facilities within the building. Oakman’s proposed Mediterranean-inspired menu would be served in a lighter, airier restaurant space that will also facilitate larger community groups. Related church events such as weddings and christening parties would also be catered for, whilst diners take in the remodelled garden and landscaping.

Oakman Inns believes that the company’s £1.7 million investment in The Polecat’s sympathetic redesign will guarantee its sustainability for years to come.

Oakman Inns CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, said his latest venue would bring 40 jobs to the area and help drive the local economy.

He said: “CAMRA suggested that the U.K. loses around 21 pubs every week, largely because they cannot expand, develop or provide what customers want in the 21st Century. Our investment would create 40 jobs, generate an increase for the Council in Business Rates and help to drive the local economy from additional visitors.

“The current owners, Mr and Mrs Whitehouse, are convinced that The Polecat must expand, and it has to grow regarding the breadth of its offer and the number of customers it can accommodate. Oakman has a great deal of experience in the restoration, transformation and sympathetic development of our many Listed pubs. Our reputation speaks for itself, and I am very proud to say that we have always worked very closely with all the local communities we serve – many of which are within a 20-mile radius of Great Missenden, Prestwood and the other local villages.”

Oakman Inns runs several successful venues in Bucks, Beds, Herts and beyond including its founding pub-restaurant The Akeman in Tring, the Betsey Wynne in Swanbourne, The Akeman Inn on the Bicester Road near Aylesbury and The Beech House in Beaconsfield.

Founded in 2007, Oakman Inns has always had a close involvement with the local communities surrounding their pubs. Indeed, on three occasions, Oakman has won the title of UK’s Best Community Pub Operator at the prestigious Publican Awards (2014,2015 and 2017), the Oscars of the pub industry. In 2009 The Akeman won awards for its design and was Highly Commended in The Chilterns AONB Building Design Awards.

Visitors will also be able to learn more about Oakman’s successful training and career development programme which was recognised this year by prestigious Princess Royal Training Awards 2017. They are also currently ranked 8th overall in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For and have been nominated for a further three Publican Awards, having already won seven over the past ten years.

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