It’s been a while since our last update from The Plough Pub Potten End Community Interest Company. Joe Roberts tells us the latest news:
It has been a while since we’ve been able to update you about where we are with the campaign to save The Plough. We apologise and never meant to be silent for as long. However, over these last months, there has been little to update you on.
You might remember that back in the summer the owner’s second attempt to get planning permission for change of use to a dwelling was finally rejected by Dacorum Planning after a six-month delay. Since then we put an offer on the table based on the updated valuation that came from the planning consultation and the owner rejected our offer.
The owner is sticking to his guns over his original asking price. In addition, he has now launched an appeal against the planning decision which will ultimately land on the desk of the Secretary of State. We were informed of this only late last week. The planning appeal details (with supporting documents), can be found here.
You can make representation to object by visiting the Planning Inspectorate Appeals Case Work Portal, quoting reference 3289126 or by clicking here. The final date to submit your objection is the 4 March. We are aiming to produce some pointers which you might like to use/adapt/tailor so perhaps watch this space before doing so.
While all this is disappointing, there is potentially a bright side. The appeal may take at least 12 months during which time the owner can only sell The Plough as a drinking establishment.7
As such, we are making the most of the time prior to the appeal being considered, to raise the funds to buy the pub whilst applying for a grant under the Government’s Community Ownership Fund (click here for details).
The fund supports community groups who can bid for matching funding to acquire community assets and run them for the benefit of the local community. If successful in our bid, this fund will provide us with up to £250,000. The next round of bidding closes in June 2022, and we are pretty confident at this stage that we tick the boxes.
So now we need to continue to raise the rest of the capital needed. We will be reaching out to the potential investors who pledged their support in our initial campaign, and also seeking to engage with others and those who may have moved into Potten End since our initial fundraising drive.
We also want to increase membership of The Plough CIC (Community Interest Company) board. We are a small bunch and have a big hill to climb. So, if you feel you have particular skill sets that we could benefit from, or you would like a hands on role in helping us plan for the future of The Plough, then please get in touch with us at email@example.com and we will make contact with you.
Please do stay with us – the next few weeks will be very exciting for the project!
Watch this space and many thanks for your continued support.
For and on behalf of
The Plough Pub Potten End Community Interest Company