|Old Bush Inn by John Law herefsxworcs Flickr|
|Busy meeting to Save the Pub|
Earlier in 2014 Marston's sold more than 200 trading pubs to New River Retail who are in the process of converting them to other use, often into supermarkets, specifically to get around irritating issues like communities trying to prevent change of use when they hear their pub is going to be sold. ACV only comes into force when the owner puts the building up for sale... If change of use is planned by an existing owner the ACV status offers no protection at all. An example of this kind of activity designed to get around the small difficulty that ACV status confers on a building is that pub companies elsewhere - Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns - have begun renting their pubs direct to Tesco.
Second: Almost everything the article states about protection conferred by of Asset of Community Value is wrong:
ACV status does NOT impose charity status on a pub, or any other community asset, and ACV has nothing to do with the Charities Commission.
Once granted, ACV status puts a six month moratorium on the sale of a property by its existing owner to another owner. AS the Bush Inn is already owned by the person who wants to develop the pub ACV has no impact here - the pub has ALREADY been sold. The horse bolted when the pub was bought at auction.
ACV status does not OBLIGE the seller to accept an offer from the community who raised the ACY even IF the community has raised finance and made the highest offer for the pub/asset.
From earlier comments it's clear that this pub would thrive if properly invested in and well managed.
While I know nothing about this pub directly these things can be stated with confidence as the same thing is happening to pubs all over the UK where 31 pubs are closing forever every week. It is a national crisis taking place in plain view of us all but largely ignored because between them the pubco's and tied pub owning brewers like Marston's have deliberately divided and conquered the nation and bamboozled public opinion about pubs through their industry mouthpiece the British Beer and Pub Association - their trade body who put out press releases continuously telling that pubs are closing because of dozens of problems that amount to a perfect storm for the pub sector.
BBPA says pubs are closing because of external economic factors like - the smoking ban, beer duty excalator, tax generally, business rates, competition from cheap supermarket booze, changing consumer habits, bad weather (seriously!), red tape, social media, television and home entertainment. There are a million reasons why people are abandoning pubs - none of which are the sky high prices the BBPA's members charge their tens of thousands of publican tenants for their Tied rents and wholesale beer supplies they oblige them to buy at up to DOUBLE open market prices... Leaving the majority of pubs in the UK to compete against the Managed Divisions of the pubco's while selling over priced beers they cannot make a living profit out of (because the pubco/brewer makes all the profit) in premises that are run down, dilapidated and not fir for purpose because the publicans don't earn enough profit to be able to invest in their businesses and the fabric of the buildings they have total financial responsibility for maintaining under fully repairing and insuring leases on the buildings the pubco/family brewers own but have not spent any money on for thirty years.
The BBPA never points out that pubs are closing primarily because its own members' force usurious charges on their tenants and they are profiteering on beer supply prices. It is pubco's sweating assets that cause most publicans in Britain (57% of all Tied Tenants) to earn less than £10K a year, usually between two people - Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) figures.
Good luck with the campaign