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”.