We publish the final address delivered at the recent Area North planning meeting by Paul Deacon on behalf of the Parish Council, in an attempt to block the sale of the King Willy. You might wonder at the decision of the Planning Department at the SSDC, we couldn't possibly comment......
Mr Chairman, Councillors
We do not agree that Policy EP15 requirements have been met.
That King William has been marketed robustly, that the Pub is no longer viable and that an alternative provision, equivalent or better, is available, are all challenged.
The pub is small and has limited catering facilities. However, there are good growth prospects in this affluent catchment area. My estimate, as an experienced business man, of the pub's potential value, based upon current sales of "£75,000" and potential sales of £125K is £160 to £200K.
The pub has never displayed a "For Sale" sign, even though it is situated on the busy A378 road in the centre of the village.
Offering the pub for sale at £300K does not constitute robustly marketing this business. No one should consider buying this business at that price, including the community. Accounts were never available to the community. It is a business which cannot be showing a net profit on these sales and with increased sales will probably generate a net profit IRO £20K pa
Should the pub be offered for sale at a realistic price say £200K and a prominent "For Sale" sign positioned on the pub, we believe it will sell and will again become a valuably community asset.
Viability and Alternative Provision
There are many villages in our area which support pubs. The average population of those villages with pubs is 525. Curry Rivel has a population of 2,500 and rising. (Based upon 2011 census)
The only other possible alternative provision is The Firehouse. This is a busy modern restaurant with a bar. The owner of the Firehouse recognises the Kind William remains the only village pub. The Firehouse does not constitute alternative equivalent provision.
Granting change of use would result in a significant loss. Our pub contributes significantly towards the sustainability of our community, and is within walking distance for our 2,500 residents.
To offer the pub for sale at this inflated price, OR, lose your pub altogether, is holding the community to ransom. We trust that the planning committee will not allow this asset stripping to take place.
The only reason for the £300K price tag is the residential development potential.
Please let's Finally remove that and get back to enjoying a good village pub.
Cocklemoor Car Park, Langport