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Successful ACV Application on Kingsbridge Inn

Totnes Heritage Trust is pleased to report that its application to South Hams

District Council for the Kingsbridge Inn to be listed as an Asset of Community

Value has been successful. If and when the pub is put on the market for sale

the community will be offered first choice on whether to purchase it.

The SHDC recommendation reads as follows.

“It is acknowledged that this is not a straightforward case. It is considered

unequivocal that there was use until Nov 2016 which furthered social

wellbeing and interests. In the context of this being the oldest pub in Totnes,

with community use since 1684, it is considered that recent case law provides

a reasonable basis on which to consider that use up until Nov 2016 still

qualifying as ‘recent use.’

Further, despite part of the building having being used for residential

accommodation since 2019, it is noted that the lease to the tenant itself

references that such residential accommodation is ancillary to the primary use

of the building which is as a public house (i.e. for sale of alcohol and food).

Accordingly, until a change of planning class, to all intents and purposes, the

building remains a public house with ancillary residential accommodation.

With respect the option to purchase, whilst it may prove to be relevant if the

building is listed and the option is subsequently exercised (as it would be a

relevant disposal to which Section 95 of the Localism Act does not apply), the

existence of this option need not prevent the listing. Whilst in the context of

the option to purchase a future community is not the most likely option, it is far

from fanciful, as it remains a possibility that the option may not be exercised.

In which case, the landowner may need to review available options, which

could include again seeking a tenant to operate the public house after expiry

of the lease in 2024, or to market sale of the property.

It is recommended that the Kingsbridge Inn be listed as an Asset of

Community Value, as there was a time in the recent past when the primary

use of the building as a public house furthered the social wellbeing and

interests of the local community, and it is realistic to think that there could be a

time in the next 5 years when there might be a use of the building again which

furthers social wellbeing/interests. Accordingly, the nomination meets s88(2)

of the Localism Act”.

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