The Town Council yesterday received a notice from West Oxfordshire District Council, dated 17 August, stating that:-
‘….West Oxfordshire District Council gives notice that it received a notification form the owner of an intention to dispose of the above property which is listed by the District Council as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act 2011. Their interest is the freehold. The District Council invites any eligible community interest group to express an interest to be treated as a potential bidder by: 27th September 2022.
The purpose of the Asset of Community Value listing is to provide the opportunity to defer the sale process to allow the community to consider whether it wishes to submit an intention to bid for the Asset.’
This means that we need to establish if there is interest in a community bid for The Bell, in which case the Town Council can ask for a six-month moratorium for fundraising. A public meeting is being organised to discuss this on 9th September. Details to be confirmed.
For more on the background to the issues around pub closures and community pubs, the Protect Pubs website is a good place to look. The Plunkett Foundation – Britain’s rural community business support experts – are conveniently based in Woodstock.