Hostelry

Former White Horse boss Tracy Besant wants to take over Green Lion, Rainham

A landlady who misses her old regulars wants to return to Rainham to take over another pub.

Tracy Besant is interested in running the former Green Lion in the High Street which has been empty for more than two years.

She was previously the manager of the nearby White Horse but is now working at a hostelry in Hampshire.

The publican of 18 years says she is homesick and wants to come back to serving her locals – as well as being her own boss.

The mum-of-four said: “There’s a lot going on in Rainham with the housing developments all around.

“But there’s not many places for people to go at night time without travelling to Chatham or Rochester.”

The 58-year-old has managed numerous brewery-owned pubs but now wants to run her own business.

The former Green Lion pub in Rainham is once again up for let after Hedgehogs nursery pulled out
The former Green Lion pub in Rainham is once again up for let after Hedgehogs nursery pulled out

The former teacher decided on a career change after spending time travelling and ending up working in a bar and restaurant in Bali. When the Green Lion came on to the market she went for a viewing and fell in love with the place.

But the owner had sought planning permission for change of use because as a licensed premises it had failed financially.

The original plan had been to convert it into a Hedgehogs children’s nursery but this collapsed after the potential new tenants pulled out because of complications in getting approval from council planners and conservationists.

Businessman Nathan Plumley, who works for the building’s owner Totteridge Developments, said: “It’s been a pub and proved that doesn’t work, it’s been tested.

“But change of use has proved too difficult, the council doesn’t seem to want to see something new.

The White Horse in Rainham
The White Horse in Rainham

“So we are going to have to go back to somebody who wants to take it over as a pub or restaurant.”

Tracy, who is originally from Sittingbourne, said: “I have been in the trade a long time and know what works.

“I want to make the place my own and not be micromanaged. I would offer basic pub food, like scampi and chips and cheaper drinks.

“I’ve seen what works for customers.

“When I left the White Horse many of them said ‘why don’t I get another pub in the town and they would come over’.”

She plans to speak to Mr Plumley to organise a new viewing.

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