THE future of a town centre pub remains uncertain after its former landlords were given two weeks to vacate the premises.

The Lardicake in Adelaide Road has been closed since the end of August when landlords Jackie and Andy Rogers left the pub in the wake of being issued with a notice to vacate by owners Enterprise Inns, now Ei Publican Partnerships.

Mr and Mrs Rogers received both verbal and written notice in mid-August from Ei to quit the property, which gave them two-and-a-half weeks to leave.

The couple say that no formal explanation for the decision was given but they were led to believe that the reason for being asked to vacate lay with Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) following a number of noise complaints.

They accept that complaints were made but, as far as they were aware, they were renegotiating the terms of the pub’s licence with TVBC and Ei to resolve the issue.

TVBC, however, denies that it asked the couple to vacate the business and a public meeting about the pub’s licence is due to be held on 22 September.

Mr and Mrs Rogers said: “We confirm we were given two-and-a-half weeks’ notice to vacate after 18 months of being there and six-and-a-half years of working for Ei.

“For the last 12 years in Andover we have run good pubs, we have pulled pubs from the point of closure and we have never had any trouble in the past with either the police or the council.

“We cannot comment on the licensing issue at present other than we are having a meeting with the council and Ei later this month to resolve the matter.”

TVBC has confirmed that complaints centred around the frequency and timings of events involving loud music and it is working with the couple and the pub owners to put some licence restrictions in place.

Housing and environmental health portfolio holder councillor Phil Bundy said: “The council has recently called for a review of The Lardicake’s licence and is proposing that some amendments are made to reduce the frequency and duration of events that include loud music; particularly outdoor events.

"The outcome of this proposal will be heard at the licensing sub-committee meeting on 22 September 2017.

"We have been in communication with the owners and landlords throughout this process and have not asked them to vacate the premises.”

Mr and Mrs Rogers have managed pubs in Andover for the last 12 years, running The Swallow for more than four years before taking on The Lardicake 18 months ago.

A spokesman for Ei Publican Partnerships said: “We can confirm that new publicans will shortly be taking over the reins of The Lardicake, Andover.

"We are confident that they will put in place a successful offer and look forward to welcoming the local community.”

The Advertiser asked the company to comment on the decision to ask Mr and Mrs Rogers to vacate the premises but its spokesman refused to comment further.