Developer Successfully Challenges Pub Listing as an Asset of Community Value

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The Localism Act 2011 enabled pubs to achieve protected status as assets of community value, as they can provide a focus for neighbourhood life. A recent case demonstrates that such listings can be highly inconvenient for potential developers.

A property company had purchased a pub with the intention of demolishing it to make way for a roundabout and 15 homes as part of a proposed 490-home development.  After pressure from local campaigners, the pub had achieved protected status having been listed by the local authority as an asset of community value.

The pub could therefore not be demolished without express planning consent nor could it be sold without local campaign groups being given a chance to purchase it first, with a view to it reopening as a pub.

The company argued, before the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), that the development was essential to the area achieving its housing targets and that the land on which the pub stood was effectively a ransom strip that blocked access to the wider development site.

The FTT upheld the appeal and overturned the listing. It found that it was unrealistic to believe that the pub could reopen within five years and further dismissed the idea that the company would try to sell the pub as that was against its commercial interests.

Greyhound Inn Developments Ltd. v Bromsgrove District Council and Another