The stapleton Arms – Nomination as Asset of Community VAlue

The Buckhorn Weston Village Community Trust gave an update on the situation to the Buckhorn Weston Annual Parish Council Meeting on 2nd March 2020 regarding The Stapleton Arms.

The following explanations and statements were made on behalf of the BWVCT…

  • The 2011 Localism Act created a system to allow communities to nominate land as an asset of community value. The nomination is made to the local authority. The legislation states that the authority must accept the nomination if the land is of community value.
  • According to the mycommunity. org website, community value of land is defined as follows: “if its main use has recently been or is presently used to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community and could do so in the future”.
  • The Buckhorn Weston Village Community Trust nominated the Stapleton Arms to the Dorset Council on 22 January. Our contact in the Planning Department has been efficient, open and attentive.
  • Chapter 3 of the Localism Act sets out the implications of a successful nomination. A successful asset of community value nomination lasts for 5 years. It gives the community certain rights to bid for the asset if it is put up for sale. It does not oblige the owner to sell to the community.
  • Although the Localism Act does not relate to planning legislation in any way, it is worth noting that Policy 27 of the North Dorset Local Plan states that “for all applications for development, the Council will take into account the importance of the facility to the local community and the area it serves as well as the viability of commercial establishments but greater weight will be given to the retention of those facilities listed as an asset of community value”. 
  • The Stapleton Arms is on the market on website of Stonesmith for £725,000 plus VAT. There is a group of individuals in the village prepared to invest in the purchase of the freehold with a view to running the pub on a commercial basis but for the benefit of the community. They are ready to engage with the owner. They do not regard the current market price as realistic.
  • The Cosy Winter Pub Company holds the current lease. One party connected to the future of that company and closure of the pub has sought to establish whether there is interest in taking over the existing lease at its current level. In the view of the group of individuals referred to above that is also not commercially realistic.
  • We can expect the Council to take a decision by 18 March on the nomination of the pub as an asset of community value.

The Trust’s Chairman Jeremy Owen together with Bob Farrand and John Grant will continue to monitor the situation and would welcome any follow-up questions, input or ideas from the wider community. Please contact them directly or via info@bwvct.org.uk
Our Parish Council will be kept informed of any developments regarding this matter.

Note 1: BW and KM Parish Council website: https://bwandkmpc.org/
Note 2: Relevant background material referred to above can all be found online.