Save the Chesham campaign urges Hackney Council to make compulsory purchase order

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: London borough of hackney, Chesham arms

Campaigners want a compulsory purchase order placed on pub
Campaigners want a compulsory purchase order placed on pub
Members of the Save the Chesham campaign group are lobbying Hackney Borough Council to make a compulsory purchase order after winning a landmark tribunal hearing to keep the pub listed as an asset of community value (ACV).

At a judge-led tribunal at Hackney Town Hall last Thursday, it was ruled that the Chesham Arms, which is in the east London borough, would remain ACV-listed after owner Murkund Patel appealed the status on the grounds that a pub business is no longer financially viable on the site.

The council is the first to successfully defend an appeal against a decision to list a pub as an ACV.

Now campaigners are lobbying the council to make a compulsory purchase, which means the authority could obtain the property without the owner’s consent and ensure it stays as a pub.

It means the local community would not need to wait for the owner to sell it, neither would it need to raise funds to buy the property.

Under threat

James Watson, secretary of the Save the Chesham campaign, said the prospect of a compulsory purchase order was the reason that the group had battled so hard to save the pub.

He told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​: “There is nothing in the law that will force the owner to reopen the pub. As a private individual you can sit on the property and do whatever you want with it for as long as you like and that is such a pity.

“One of the things we’re talking to the council about is a compulsory purchase option. This is a provision in the Localism Act for local authorities to purchase assets of community value that are under threat.”

Protected

If the local authority was to make a compulsory purchase it would pay the owner the price of the pub as valued by an independent market review. Watson said the price of the pub was valued at £300,000 a year ago, before the bar and pub features were removed from the interior, but Patel purchased the property for £650,000.

Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe said: “Pubs like the Chesham Arms bring together residents and build close neighbourhoods, and deserve to be protected.”

Tony Allen, of Allen Planning, which is advising Patel, said it was likely that a planning application to convert the pub to ‘residential’ would be lodged despite the ACV status.

Related topics: Legislation

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