Urban & Country Leisure (UCL), the group led by entrepreneur Ross Sanders, has continued to trim its pub estate after exiting the George Hotel in Hatherleigh, Devon. The company had taken on the site on a lease from Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company (S&NPC), which spent £2.5m rebuilding the 15th century pub after it was destroyed by a fire in 2008. A S&NPC spokesperson said: “We can confirm that UCL has decided to exit their lease at the George Hotel at Hatherleigh. We understand that this is due to its geographical distance from their businesses. This is an amicable agreement and they continue to lease three other sites from us. “The George Hotel is an outstanding country hotel and inn comprising a bar, dining area and 13 boutique bedrooms. It has traded very successful since it reopened nine months ago and has received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from customers.” UCL announced earlier this year that after a strategic review of its 13-strong estate it would be reversing plans to invest £15m expanding its country pub operation due to the downturn in the country pub sector. It quit the White Horse pub in Harpenden in February and has since disposed of a further two pubs and has a couple more under offer. The exit from the George cuts its pub estate to nine sites. In September, Sanders told M&C Report the company had secured three more sites for its Lazy Cow boutique chain. The company, which opened its first hotel under the Lazy Cow brand in Warwick last year, opened a second site in centre of Salisbury. The group, which is investing £20m in the rollout of Lazy Cow, is also set to redevelop the Telegraph pub in Putney under the brand and has also secured a fourth site at an unnamed location in the West Midlands.