Otley became the first place in the UK to have all of its pubs listed as ACV’s in April after a nomination from Otley Pub Club.
However, Lee Pullan, freeholder at the Old Cock, demanded a review into the pub’s listing and branded the blanket nomination as a ‘publicity stunt’ that treated freeholders unfairly. Otley council decided last week that the Old Cock would remain listed as an ACV.
Pullan argued that the Old Cock should never have been listed as an ACV because if it were to close, there would still be a large number of other pubs where the local community would still be able to socialise and meet. He also argued the much of the pub’s trade comes from outside of the village.
Steve Culverhouse, who runs consultancy Change-of-Us and represented the Old Cock at the review said: “Most of the pubs in Otley are tenanted and at higher risk of disposal than the few privately owned pubs in the town. It is likely that there could be several pubs on the market at one time-will the local community be expected to bid on them all? The blanket listing will create permanent closures rather than preventing them. Pubs will stand boarded up waiting for the ACV and planning processes to take their course.”
The Campaign for Real Ale launched a campaign calling for more than 3,000 pubs as ACV’s earlier this month, despite opposition from the British Beer and Pub Association and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers.