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Chichester Arms

The Chichester Arms is for sale - Update on Progress

 

The Parish Council has been informed by West Devon Borough Council that the village pub is to be offered for sale.  The Parish Council has been notified, because the pub is registered as an Asset of Community Value.  That means that 'a valid community group' now has six weeks to ask to be treated as a potential bidder for the property.  If no such request is made by the 15th May, then the owners of the pub are free to sell it to whomever they choose.

If a request to be treated as a potential bidder is made, then the pub cannot be sold for six months other than to such a community group.  However, the owner does not have to sell to the community group, but would have to wait for the six months to expire before selling to another party.

A 'valid community group' is either the Parish Council, an incorporated community group or a charity.  Further enquiries would have to be made, but it is likely that  a 'valid community group' means a group that has a written constitution, terms of reference and a managing committee.

 

Chillaton Community Pub Progress

Marystowe Church Hall was packed on Tuesday night, as residents met to hear what progress had been made since the initial meeting a week ago.

 
Chillaton parish councillors reported that grants were available from the Plunkett Foundation [which supports rural enterprises like village shops and pubs] towards the cost of valuing the pub and of a feasibility study into its future use, as well as some other initial expenses.
 
The Foundation had provided details of an experienced pub trade valuer, who was prepared to carry out that work and his reports could be made available before the deadline of 15th May for registration as a potential bidder for the pub.
 
When those reports were available, residents would be in a better position to judge whether or not to proceed further.  If a community group did register, then there would be a period of six months from the original notification that the pub was to be offered for sale, in which efforts to raise the necessary finance could be made and, if successful, a bid could be submitted. [The owners of the pub do not have to accept that bid.]
  
Because the Foundation meets every Wednesday to consider requests for support, a provisional application had been made on behalf of the village, to avoid a week’s delay, should residents wish to proceed.
 
The meeting decided to establish a community group and to commission the valuation and feasibility studies as soon as possible.
 
A steering group was set up to:
  • liaise with the Plunkett Foundation
  • oversee the creation of a valid community group
  • identify potential sources of funding
  • consider the reports from the valuer and make a recommendation to a further public meeting as to whether or not to register a valid community group as a potential bidder.  
The Plunkett Foundation has now approved our request for support and an experienced adviser will be meeting with the steering group shortly, to help prepare an action plan.  That plan will then be considered by the Foundation and, if approved, funds of up to £2,500 will be made available for the expenses referred to above.
 
Some local residents have very kindly provided the necessary donations to enable the valuation studies and the formation of a valid community group to take place; their money to be reimbursed if the Plunkett Foundation approves the action plan.


A copy of the official notice from the Borough Council is displayed outside the pub and can be seen here

If you would like to join the pub steering group or just come to its first meeting and see if you might, then please email using the contact form  and Neil will let you know when and where the first meeting will be.                     

 

 

Chichester Arms interior

Interior of the Chichester Arms - Postcard supplied by Sue Swanborough - Date unknown - can anyone advise?

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