Petition launched to save village pub

A petition to save The Lazy Otter pub in Stretham has reached over 200 signatures so far.

A petition to save The Lazy Otter pub in Stretham has reached over 200 signatures so far. - Credit: Archant

Villagers have been asked to support a petition to save their centuries old pub. 

The Lazy Otter at Cambridge Road, Stretham, is currently closed and some fear it may never re-open.  

The pub closed temporarily in 2020 before re-opening some months later but is again closed while anxious villagers await a decision on its future. 

The pub has changed its name over the years, history books recalling that in the late 18th century it was known as the Charles in Oak. 

This referenced a local legend that King Charles once hid in an oak tree nearby to escape Cromwell’s soldiers.  

It became The Lazy Otter in April 1987 and was popular with holidaymakers, locals and visiting families. 

Some villagers fear the owners may consider converting it to a house although planning consent would be needed.  

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And so far, no application for change of use has been made to East Cambridgeshire District Council. 

But with the hope of saving the well-loved pub – and also to show support for it – an online petition has been started.  

The Lazy Otter in Stretham is currently closed.

The Lazy Otter in Stretham is currently closed. - Credit: Supplied

The petition organiser, a former general manager of the pub, said: “I started the petition last night (January 19). It’s early days but if I’m honest, I was hoping for a lot more signatures by now. 

“I just know how much people absolutely love The Lazy Otter.” 

By today, the petition has gained over 200 signatures.  

The organiser said: “It was a great place for families to gather with a park for the children and gorgeous riverside views.  

“I put so much blood sweat and tears into the pub so I’ve had to do something about it,” they said.  

“I don’t want to see it turning into a house.  

“I love it and my family love it. My little girl basically grew up there whilst I was running it.”  

The organiser added: “I’m sure we’re not the only ones who have taken advantage of this fabulous riverside pub.  

“I really don’t want to lose this asset to our community, so I invite you to sign the petition to prevent the current owners from changing the pubs use to a private home.”  

You can sign the petition here. 

A spokesperson for East Cambridgeshire District Council said: “Planning permission would be required to change the use of a pub to a residential property.

"At present the Council does not have a live planning application for this property.

“Should an application be submitted it will be posted onto the public access area of our website and people will be invited to comment via the usual planning consultation process.”

The Ely Standard has reached out to The Lazy Otter for comment.