It's a great shame about the Mount Skip pub. I don't believe that Andrew Marshall bought the pub to run as a business. Like any other businessman he would have studied the pub's most recent accounts, before he put in an offer, so it made no commercial sense to close the pub after just three months of trading. Unless he had bought the pub specifically to close it, convert it into two houses, and make a personal profit by denying local people a valuable resource.
Marshall started gutting the place months ago, well in advance of his planning application being granted, so the recent decision is, in essence, retrospective. I listened to the submissions at the public hearing. Perhaps naievly, I believed the objectors were holding the best cards. The Mount Skip wasn't 'just another pub'; it was something special. Someone who knew more about the licensed trade than Marshall, and who was more intent on building up trade than making a fast buck, could have made a success of running the Mount Skip. People are happy to travel for good beer, top-notch food, congenial company... and if there's a pub that commands a more stunning view then I can't think of it.
The planning inspector said it would be difficult to "rebuild trade after nearly a year's closure". This seems to give a 'green light' to greedy speculators everywhere to buy up rural pubs, close them down and let the wind whistle through the broken windows and loose roof-tiles... until the planning inspectorate caves in. The whole thing stinks.
I understand that Marshall's personal life has suffered due to the protracted nature of the planning procedure. Well, some people help to bring misfortune upon themselves. If the gutting of the Mount Skip fails to bring him the profits he anticipated, then I for one won't have sleepless nights.