The Crown was made an Asset of Community Value at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting of Broadland District Council.
The decision means the pub cannot be sold without the local community being told. It also grants the Council greater powers to refuse planning applications from developers and gives the community up to six months to put in a bid to buy the pub should it be put up for sale.
The move to place The Crown on the community asset register was led by Reepham Town Council.
However, the decision is unlikely to affect a current offer to purchase the pub from the owner, Punch Taverns, who are asking around £300,000 for the property.
Reepham residents Garron and Helen Monk want to convert the building in Ollands Road into a five-bedroom dwelling. However, in February, Broadland refused their planning application for a change of use from a public house to residential. The Monks have since appealed this decision, the outcome of which is expected to be made in the next few months.
Meanwhile, a second planning application for a change of use from public house to mixed use residential and business (office) has been withdrawn by the Monks, probably on advice that Broadland would be likely to refuse any similar application.
A spokesman for Punch Taverns was quoted in the Eastern Daily Press as saying: “We agree that pubs are valuable community assets, which is why we have spent £45m investing in our properties this year.
“Where pubs are operated well and supported by their local community, they should remain viable. However, others may no longer have such potential and would better serve the local community under different ownership. We welcome the local support and we would be happy to consider all offers.”
See our earlier story:
Another twist in The Crown saga