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The White Hart Hotel in Alton is set to be registered as a Community Asset

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

The White Hart in Alton viewd from its allotments.

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A STAFFORDSHIRE Moorlands pub is set to be registered as a Community Asset.

District council officers, acting under delegated powers, have backed plans by The White Hart Alton Community Group to run The White Hart Hotel, in High Street, Alton.

The decision was set to be rubber-stamped today, meaning the group will have full responsibility for the venue's fortunes.

A Community Value Assessment compiled for the authority states: “The nomination form includes evidence of beneficial community use which meets the criteria – use by the pool team, skittle team darts and cribbage teams.

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“The pub is used to hold meetings and catered for Christening parties and Wakes.

“Fund-raising and charity events have been held and the allotments on the site are a focus for social activity.”

It adds: “ It is reasonable to view most of the above uses to be integral to the purpose of the building.

“The garden use as allotments could be viewed as ancillary but is part of the beneficial uses over the last 18 months.

The need/demand for the community to have a community space in which to meet and pursue social interest is likely to continue.

“The nominating group has stated that support from the community for their group is growing. Community owned pubs have proven to be viable elsewhere.

However, the document says: “Contact with the parish council and one of the village pubs provides evidence that there are differences of view locally as to whether The White Hart is viable as a pub and should be retained.

The report confirms that officers have assessed the nomination and confirmed:

1. The White Hart Alton Community Group is eligible to make the nomination.

2. The land and buildings are not exempt from listing.

3. The land and buildings are used (and in the past five years) to further the social well-being and social interests of the local community (as defined by the Localism Act 2011) and this use is not ancillary.

4. It is realistic to think that the building or land will continue to be used in a way which will further the social well-being and social interests of the community within the next five years.

It adds: “Accordingly the council’s officers have assessed that the criteria for listing have been met and recommend that The White Hart Hotel is listed as an Asset of Community Value."

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