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Rushton Spencer pub nominated to be local asset

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 24, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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A VILLAGE pub has been nominated to be registered as a community asset.

Plans have been submitted for the Royal Oak in Rushton Spencer to be registered under the new Localism Bill by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.

The Royal Oak nomination has been put forward by The Royal Oak Community Group, a local organisation.

The Community Right to Bid part of the Localism Act allows communities to ask councils to register buildings and land that play an important part in local life.

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Once a building has been successfully registered, an owner deciding to sell the building must first inform the council and then hold back on the sale for six weeks to allow the parish council or local community groups to decide if they would like to buy the property.

If the local community does want to bid to purchase the building, the owner is required to suspend the sale for a period of six months – which allows the community the opportunity to raise money to make a purchase. However, the owner does not have to sell to the community group even if they meet the asking price.

District councillor for the Horton Ward which covers Rushton, Norma Hawkins, said: "The Royal Oak is very useful to villagers and is the heart of the community.

"I fully support the effort of the people of Rushton to get the building registered.

"We cannot afford to lose many more facilities in villages as there will be nothing left. Facilities need protection and enhancing.

"I would like to see Rushton and Longsdon have a neighbourhood plan which would give the community more control and protection."

Councillor Gill Burton, who has the responsibility for communities at the district council will now decided under delegated powers whether to approve the application.

Last October Mrs Burton gave the go-ahead for The Blacksmiths Arms in Kingsley Holt and the Holy Bush Inn at Brown Edge to be registered as assets of community value.

Mrs Burton said: "I am very pleased to receive the nomination for The Royal Oak, which has come from a public organisation.

"It will now be looked at and a decision on the registration will be made very shortly."

In a report to councillors, executive director and monitoring officer, Mark Trillo said: "Council officers have assessed that the criteria for listing have been met and recommend that The Royal Oak in Rushton Spencer be listed as an Asset of Community Value."

However, parish councillors at Kingsley, who support The Blacksmith Arms proposal, decided not to go ahead with nominating The Sneyd Arms pub in Whiston as a asset of community Value.

The pub, which has recently closed, is situated in the centre of the community.

Speaking at last week's meeting of Kingsley Parish Council, district and parish councillor Elsie Fallows, said: "Whiston people have hardly used the facilities.

"I have received no complaint. People have just said it was a shame it has closed."

Councillor Josie Clowes said: "This could be a B&B establishment. Someone has tried to get planning on the car park, but could not as a big stream runs under it."

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