REPORT ON COMMUNITY ACCESS REGISTER MEETING FOR THE Black Bull
Meeting held at the Memorial Institute 11 12 13 at 7 30 pm
R W as Chair. B Cllr R Sherras. Clerk and six members of the public
The Chair set out the purpose of the meeting. The PC had placed the Black Bull on the Community Asset Register. It had been informed by the owner that the recently vacated pub was up for sale on the open market. The PC was now seeking to fulfil its obligations under the Act by notifying the Parish that opportunity existed to put in offers to rescue the Pub for the Community, before its owners reached any final decision, as to its future. He pointed out that there were just six weeks in the first stage to notify the owners and R V BC of an intention to attempt rescue, and then a following period of six months in which to raise the money and the support involved and produce a valid offer. He also informed the meeting that the owner had unsuccessfully objected to the placement of the Pub on the C A R.
In an email to the P C the owner had made it clear that if there were no interest in the Pub then he would be applying to amend the current planning approval which permitted partial redevelopment of the building for residential use, to cover the whole building. The current application, which had been approved on 11th November, allowed for the creation of a smaller pub with the larger part of the building being converted. The Chairman felt that it was by no means certain that planning approval would be forthcoming for this revised application.
The P C was in possession of an email from the owner accepting the date of November 28th as the start of the six-week period as far as he was concerned.
The meeting was then open to the public, and a number of queries were raised.
Is the Pub actually for sale on the open market? No one had been able to find any reference to it on the normal “pubs for sale” sites. Did merely telling the P C it was for sale constitute the legal first stage of the C A R process?
Had the owner corresponded with the R V B C registering his intentions? It was the R V B C who, we were informed by Cllr R S, should have been the sponsors of the public meeting not the P C since they were the custodians of the C A R. If that registration had not been made did it mean that the six-week period had not yet started?
The last three landlords had been little short of disasters for one reason or another. If the pub were on the open market a serious contender might make a success of the venture.
The Clerk asked whether in view of the minimal attendance there was any value in proceeding at all? He did not know the owner but felt strongly that it would be unreasonable, even unfair, to try to mount a rescue effort unless it was genuine and had some hope of success. The absence of most of the former local patrons of the Pub did not suggest to him any basis for believing there was village support for a rescue.
According to B Cllr R S the rescue effort had to be sponsored by a registered charity or similar organisation. Was it feasible to expect the three charities in the parish to front such a rescue operation? The charities are The Memorial Institute, The Recreation Association and the W I. An interest group of formed from former patrons, even if it existed, would have to work through one of these Charities to produce an eligible offer.
The Chairman made it clear that in his view the only action that the P C should take was the calling of the current meeting. He agreed with the Clerk that the Parish had demonstrated its interest by its absence. If anyone present saw fit to approach the registered charities with their interest it would be up to that charity to decide if it wished to proceed.
The clerk would seek to clarify
With the R V B C what the exact legal stage of the C A R process was at
With the owner if and where the pub was actually for sale on the open market
The meeting closed at 8 45pm.