The Pound Inn is not a community asset
AN attempt to have a pub near Wells protected from development has been turned down.
A group of residents from Coxley had asked Mendip District Council to declare the Pound Inn an Asset of Community Value (ACV).
The pub’s landlords, Terry and Anne O’Connell, have applied for planning permission to knock the pub down and build ten houses in its place. They say that the business is no longer viable and they need to move on.
A group calling themselves the Friends of the Pound applied for ACV status as this would mean they would legally have to be notified of any potential sale of the pub.
They would then have six months to raise the money and put in a bid for it.
However, Mendip District Council have refused the application.
A spokesman for the council said: “Unfortunately the council had to refuse the application to make the Pound Inn at Coxley an asset of community value due to insufficient evidence showing that the asset furthers the social well-being or social interests of the local community in its current primary use as a public house.”
One of the organisers of the Friends, Jenny Henderson, said: “I was surprised and very disappointed.
“I want to know what would count as sufficient interest. If they take this away what will the village be left with? If the pub goes it will have a huge impact on Mendip’s plans to build new houses here and integrate people into the community.
“The Friends of the Pound will not be giving up. We will have a meeting soon to see what the next step should be.
“Why should the village lose its pub forever?”
Mendip’s decision has pleased Mr and Mrs O’Connell.
Mr O’Connell said: “We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us.
“What I’d like to say to anyone thinking of trying to make a pub an Asset of Community Value is this – go speak to the people at the pub first. Find out what the running costs are before jumping the gun.
“Do your homework first.
“We’ve done everything we can to make the pub work. Now we’re just waiting for planning to come through as we just can’t afford to stay here.”
Mr O’Connell asked the Journal to point out that the Pound is still open for business and the new winter menu will be starting soon.
If you want to find out more about ACVs you can visit www.mendip.gov.uk/acv for more information.