Council to buy 'derelict' pub after community campaign

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Abandoned: Forest of Dean District Council has agreed to purchase the Rising Sun pub in Woodcroft on behalf of its village community. (Image: Nicholas Mutton Geograph)
Abandoned: Forest of Dean District Council has agreed to purchase the Rising Sun pub in Woodcroft on behalf of its village community. (Image: Nicholas Mutton Geograph)

Related tags: Community, Gloucestershire

The Forest of Dean District Council has voted to buy a derelict pub in order to secure the improvement of the well-being of a village community.

Facts 'n' stats

A CPO is a legal function that allows certain bodies to need obtain land or property without the consent of the owner.

It can be used acquire historic buildings for preservation.

A Local Authority must demonstrate the purchase is necessary and make a compelling case in the public interest.

In 2016, a total of 79 CPOs were submitted.

Councillors voted unanimously to use a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to buy the pub in Woodcroft, Gloucestershire.

The pub has been unused for the past six years after it was sold by Ei Group and planning permission for residential development was refused by the council.

Campaigners have raised £230,000 in community shares​ so far and would eventually cover the council’s costs of buying the pub, which could be valued at up to £300,000.

The group hopes the pub will be able to reopen as a community hub​, with a small shop and space for local groups.

Village eyesore

Dr Michelle Hayes, chair of the Save Our Sun Committee, told The Morning Advertise​r: “We've ended up in an entrenched situation where [the developer] essentially let the pub completely deteriorate so it has become like a derelict building site in the village for the last six years.

“We want it to be a pub with good food and good drink but we also want it to be a place that community groups can meet,” she said.

rising sun

The council must seek Government approval and finance the cost of the CPO, including the compensation to the owner.

Community benefit

Councillors agreed the purchase would “secure the improvement of the economic, social and environmental well-being” of the area.

The pub was described as being “currently in a very poor condition and reflects very badly on the neighbourhood”, by the council.

Save Our Sun said it would fund the process so that public money would not be at risk.

A spokesperson for Worthy Developments, the pub's owner, told the BBC: "We would welcome the opportunity to discuss terms to mitigate costs."

The developer was contacted for comment but had not responded by time of publication.

  • Interested in running a pub? You can find out more about pubs for sale, lease and tenancy on the MA’s​ property site​.

Related topics: Property law

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