The Fox & Hounds
The Fox & Hounds is a pub in the village of Ardley, near Bicester in Oxfordshire. Our developer client had bought the pub and surrounding site and asked us to draw up a redevelopment plan to maximise the value and viability of the site and provide new homes and amenities for the local community.
The buildings are not listed, but they sit within the local conservation area and are in a prominent position, making them a local landmark.
The pub was rundown and unloved, and finally closed in January 2020. Behind the pub are several outbuildings, including a traditional stone barn. A survey was arranged to ensure bats were not roosting in the barn.
The goal was to create a coherent scheme, improve the functionality of the site and ensure the development connects with its surroundings.
The first part of our redevelopment plan involved refurbishing the pub building, emphasising its original character by removing substandard additions and focusing on its interesting and traditional features. This building was to remain a commercial unit, but as a boutique and café showcasing local produce, so we also introduced contemporary, modern architecture, with large glazed walls and door at the front that could be opened up to an outdoor seating area.
The second part involved creating a new home in an underused wing of the pub building and two more new homes in the renovated and converted barn. The barn’s vaulted ceiling and structural beams would be exposed and its overall character maintained.
Our clients eventually decided to sell the property before the scheme could be built. But it does represent a well-balanced mixed-use scheme and a good example of the potential to transform underutilised commercial property.