Ahead of the possible auction of the pub next week, the receivers organised a site viewing today (Friday July 15th) and the only potential buyer to attend was a property developer. Some committee members also attended to see who arrived.
The visitor, when we asked him of his intentions, said he might try to buy the pub and that even though he didn’t have any pub investments in his portfolio he knew personally how important it was for a rural village to have a pub – he said his own village had 4 active pubs and he knew they were essential for the resident’s quality of life.
Of course, he said, since our village had “let the pub close by not supporting it” he was not keen to spend any of his own money “on that money pit” but if he bought it would “just see what happens if I spent the minimum cash outlay to get it open”. Then if it didn’t work as a successful business he’d build two 5 bedroom executive houses on the plot!
Of course this is a common ploy, buy the pub, don’t invest, let it fail and apply for planning for change of use to residential. We made it clear to him the villages would fight to the death any change of use that meant we’d lose the social hub for ever! We won’t let anyone use this tactic to build on the site, we’ll keep fighting!
Save The Thorold Arms!
We’re still waiting for the receiver to respond to our own cash offer, we’ll let you know as soon as we have any feedback. UPDATE – they rejected our offer and said that, at this late stage they are really obliged to go to auction, so that they can “prove” that they have achieved the best outcome for the business in receivership.