Apply to make empty Northamptonshire pubs community assets, say Camra

GV The Kings Arms pub, Desborough ENGNNL00120121006220359
GV The Kings Arms pub, Desborough ENGNNL00120121006220359
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Applying to list county pubs which are closed as a community asset could preserve use in the future, says a pressure group.

In recent weeks the Northants Telegraph has covered bids to convert the Kings Arms in Desborough into a Costa Coffee and the Spread Eagle in Cottingham into a four-bed house.

Both applications were largely met with disdain by our readers on social media, and Northamptonshire chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale Ian MacAulay says they too are disappointed.

He said: “As a branch we are always extremely disappointed to see pubs in the county closing down.

“Over the past 10 years about 15 per cent of the total number of pubs have closed with many becoming shops or private dwellings.

“Our lifestyle has changed in recent years with more people drinking at home and when pubs first appeared there was no TV, radio or cinema to keep us occupied.

“The pub was the heart of the community and was where people met.

“These lifestyle changes mean that a reduction in the total number of pubs is unavoidable.”

However, Mr MacAulay added that by making the pubs community assets, gaining permission for change of use becomes harder.

He said: “In this case we recommend to those who are most concerned that the option that is proving to be successful is where the pub is declared to be an Asset of Community Value (ACV).

“If such an application is successful then change of use becomes very difficult.

“In order to make an ACV work the support of the community is vital.”

Pubs in the north of the county with ACV status include: The George in Ashley, The Fox Inn in Wilbarston, The Old Nags Head in Hargrave, The Wheatsheaf in Titchmarsh, The Star and Garter in Chelveston, The Prince of Wales in Woodford, The Cock Inn in Denford, The Black Horse Inn in Nassington, The Hare and Hounds in Great Addington and The Nags Head in Wollaston.