Residents of Forches housing estate in Barnstaple, North Devon, occupy their local.
Residents of Forches housing estate in Barnstaple, North Devon have occupied their pub The Borough Arms which is due to be knocked down to make way for flats as part of a regeneration scheme. The locals have taken their building back and hope to save it from re-development as they highlight a lack of local facilities.
Forches is one of a few housing estates in the outskirts of town, built in the 50s to create slum clearance dwellings on a premise of re-housing "difficult families", it's long had the reputation of being the rough end of town. All though a lot of money is being spent to regenerate the area, spruce up a reputation, and ultimately squeeze in more flats and houses in for the landlords, the residents noticed they were loosing a vital community asset. The Borough Arms is set to be demolished and the developers have made no previsions in their very lucrative regeneration scheme to provide the residents with any social space.
Last week the locals pulled together to take back their pub. calling for social spaces and a community hub with useful services such as an internet cafe, creche, drop in centre etc
The occupation, which has been underway for over week has been met with positive media attention and local support.
Link to ITV report.