36.1 Mr Chris Bing, Acting Operations Manager of IBC Legal Services presented this item, the purpose of which was to consult with the Castle Hill Ward Councillors and the Portfolio Holder for Communities as to whether the nominated property ‘The Dales Public House’, on Dales Road (received on the 12 August 2015 from the Ipswich and East Suffolk Campaign for Real Ale - CAMRA) should be listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).
36.2 The Localism Act 2011 gives voluntary and community organisations the right to nominate a building or other land for listing by the local authority and if accepted by the Council it would be listed on a Register of Assets of Community Value, for 5 years. The Head of Resource Management had delegated authority to determine ACV nominations within 8 weeks of receiving a nomination so a decision on the Dales Public House nomination would be required by 7 October 2015.
36.3 Mr Bing confirmed that although the Dales Public House had ceased trading, the property could potentially still be listed as an ACV if, in the opinion of the Head of Resource Management, there had been a time in the recent past when actual use of the building, which was not an ancillary use, furthered the social wellbeing or interests of the local community. And if it was realistic to think that there could be a time in the next 5 years when there could be non-ancillary use of the building that would further (whether or not in the same way as before) the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community. The two other properties which had previously been put forward for listing, both of which had been accepted and listed, were confirmed as Portman Road Football Ground and the Emperor Inn on Norwich Road (now Tesco Metro).
36.4 Residents put forward the following views:
· Nomination would not guarantee the future of the building as a Public House.
· No purpose to listing if use was not viable.
· The Friends of the Dales had used the Public House for meetings without charge.
· There were not many meeting places nearby which were warm and accessible.
36.5 The Portfolio Holder for Communities advised that the crib and pool teams which had used the Dales Public House had moved to a different pub, as had the Christening events which used to take place at the pub. A resident queried whether the spots teams had moved voluntarily or been given notice.
36.6 The Portfolio Holder for Communities said that she understood that the freehold owner, the East of England Co-operative Society, had no intention of re-leasing the property as a public house. She understood that they were looking to offer a five year lease to a charity to open it as a second hand furniture shop with a possible café. The building would not be open in the evenings however the car park would remain open for the use of shoppers and she believed it was intended that no one would live at the premises.
36.7 Mr Bing reported that since April 2015, permitted development rights had changed and to convert a public house, which had been nominated or listed as an ACV, to another use would now require an express grant of planning permission.
36.8 Councillor Goldsmith’s response was that the building as a pub had closed, a tenant wanted to open a shop/café for community use and the landlord could choose who he wanted to move in. He did not see the decision as one which ward Councillors could make but he could not see anyone taking the building on as a pub again.
36.9 Councillor Whittall agreed with Councillor Goldsmith that it was not up to ward Councillors to advise the current owners what to do with their premises. As a resident of Castle Hill ward (although a Councillor for Whitton ward) he said that he would not want the building to remain empty but had no view whether to list it as an Asset of Community Value. The Councillor wondered whether CAMRA would want to sustain their ACV application in the current circumstances with the premises now closed.
36.10 Mr Bing said that if the building were to be listed as an ACV the effect would be that there would be a six week moratorium on the disposal and should there be any written intentions to bid for the property, a full moratorium period of 6 months would come into force and so the property could be vacant for this period. It was;
that the comments from this meeting would be taken into consideration by the Head of Resource Management in determining the nomination for the Dales Public House to become an Asset of Community Value, as detailed in report Ref No: NWAC/15/13.
Reason: In order to comply with the requirement to consult ward Councillors and the Portfolio Holder for Communities in accordance with the Council’s adopted procedure for determining ACV nominations.
Councillor Vickery left the meeting during the discussion and voting thereon.