Bid to save West Yorkshire pub as town ‘asset’

NO LAST ORDERS: Landlady Maggie Senior, who is hoping to save the pub from closure.
NO LAST ORDERS: Landlady Maggie Senior, who is hoping to save the pub from closure.
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A Pontefract pub could be given a stay of execution, and even be saved from closure, if a nomination to have it listed as an ‘asset of community value’ is successful.

The Railway Inn has been earmarked for closure after plans were approved to build more than 80 homes on the surrounding land.

Landlady Maggie Senior and the regulars of the popular pub have since campaigned to prevent the closure, and have the full backing of the Pontefract ward councillors and MP, Yvette Cooper.

An application has now been submitted to protect it under the Localism Act, by registering the pub as an asset.

Alison Patterson, licensing project officer at Wakefield Council explained: “Under the act, voluntary and community organisations can nominate an asset to be included on a list of assets of community value. “If the nomination meets the legislative requirements, the asset will be placed on what is known as a ‘successful list’ and it will remain on the list for five years. During this time, if the owner decides to sell the property, they have to inform the council which then triggers a six-month moratorium period, giving the nominator - a community group - time to develop a proposal and raise the funds to be able to bid for the asset.”

Despite this, the owners will decide whether to sell it to the community group or not, but they would have to wait six months and gives the group a chance to raise the cash.

Meanwhile, campaigners wanting to save the pub are desperate to have the original planning application from Towngate PLC - which was approved without going before the council’s planning committee - to be reviewed.The plans made no reference to the pub’s future, a matter which campaigners say should have at least warranted a discussion by the planning committee.

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