Whiting & Hammond, the high-rated south-east gastro operator founded by Brian Keeley-Whiting, a former director of Brunning & Price, is planning a £300,000-plus investment at a pub in a joint venture with Harvey & Son, the Lewe-based brewer, writes Paul Charity. The company, which operates six pubs, is planning to extend the Plough pub, a Harvey's site in Plumpton Green, East Sussex. Keeley-Whiting said: “The Plough is our sleeping giant. We have just received planning permission to build a thatched barn on the side of the pub, which will double the size. The pub has a five- acre field behind where we will cultivate and grow our own vegetables. The offer there now is good; however, when finished next February, we hope it will be stunning.” Keeley-Whiting worked at Brunning & Price, the company acquired by The Restaurant Group last year, for 12 years. Both Keeley-Whiting and operations director Darren Somerton are former chefs at the Savoy Hotel in London.