Originally published at: https://chilternsociety.org.uk/community-right-to-bid-the-full-moon-the-black-horse-the-red-lion/
BUCKS COUNCIL LETS DOWN LOCAL COMMUNITIES
The new Bucks Council has rejected applications by the Chiltern Society to list three village pubs as Assets of Community Value. The Society has not received any word about a fourth application submitted at the same time.
Asset of Community Value Orders (ACVs) arose out of the Localism Act 2011 and were designed to protect pubs and other community assets such as Community Centres and village shops. The Act gives local communities six months to raise the capital to purchase the asset in question should there be a threat to their continued existence such as an application to develop them for housing.
The three rejections were for The Full Moon, Little Kingshill, The Black Horse, Mobwell and The Red Lion in Chenies, despite the pubs having in the recent past run such functions as quiz evenings, Macmillan coffee mornings and village book clubs. Bizarrely the council stated in all three cases, ‘the Council considers that the current use of the property does not further the social wellbeing and social interests of the local community and that the property is not of community value’. This clearly is ludicrous but the generic nature of the Council’s response has led us to surmise that this is a policy decision and that they are unlikely to approve any applications to list pubs without a fight despite this being a main thrust of the Localism Act.
The sad thing is that this is against a backdrop of a relentless stream of pub closures with Buckinghamshire having lost an estimated 50% of its pubs in 50 years with the trend accelerating and likely to worsen in these Covid times. ACVs are one of the main tools in the hands of communities to protect their heritage and the council has seen fit to make a series of decisions which will have property developers rubbing their hands with glee.
To read the councils rejection notices and our response, see links: