Asset of community value determination report
Application reference: CRB026
Nominated asset: Decoy Tavern Public House
Site address: Beccles Road, Fritton, Great Yarmouth, NR31 9AB
Parish/ward: Fritton with St Olaves
Applicant: Fritton with St Olaves Parish Council
Landowner: Mr Miles Harman
Decision notice (Section 91 Localism Act 2011 Notice of inclusion)
It is the decision of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, as the responsible authority, that the nominated asset does satisfy the statutory test set out in Section 88(2) of the Localism Act 2011 and shall be listed as an asset of community value.
- The Localism Act 2011 (the Act) and the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012 (the Regulations) set out the considerations and procedures that apply where a local community group wishes to nominate land or buildings for listing as assets of community value.
- Section 88 of the Act provides that a building or other land in a local authority's area is land of community value if, in the opinion of the authority:
- an actual current use of the building or other land that is not an ancillary further the social wellbeing of social interests of the local community
- it is realistic to think that there can continue to be non-ancillary use of the building or other land which will further (whether or not in the same way) the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community (s.88(1))
- there is a time in the recent past when an actual use of the building or other land that was no ancillary use furthered the social wellbeing or interests of the local community
- it is realistic to think that there is a time in the next five years where there could be non-ancillary use of the building or other land that would further (whether or not in the same way as before) the social wellbeing of social interests of the local community (s.88(2))
- Social interests include (in particular) cultural interests, recreational interests and sporting interests (s.88(6)). Social wellbeing is not defined in the Act or the Regulations and is to be interpreted in accordance with the natural meaning of the words.
- Fritton with St Olaves Parish Council submitted a nomination to Great Yarmouth Borough Council which was validated on the 20 July 2022 for the area of land at the Decoy Tavern Public House, Beccles Road, Fritton, Great Yarmouth, NR31 9AB be listed by the Council as an asset of community value.
- The nomination was determined to comply with the detailed provisions of Regulation 6 of the Regulations. The nominating organisation is a parish council which comes within the definition of a 'voluntary or community body' in accordance with Section 89 of the Act and Regulation 5(1)(b) of the Regulations. The nomination includes a plan of the nominated site.
- The Decoy Tavern Public House is within Great Yarmouth Borough Council's administration area and does not fall within the list of exceptions set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulations and therefore is not excluded from being land of community value.
- As required by Regulation 8 of the Regulations, Great Yarmouth Borough Council has taken all practicable steps to notify the landowner and other interested parties that it is considering listing the land as an asset of community value. Consultation notification letters were posted out on the 26 and 27 July 2022.
- The applicant has made the following representations in support of the nomination:
- the existing building is at the heart of the village and has the potential to continue to be part of this local community's focus into the future
- the applicant has confirmed that members of the village have been active in contacting persons and organisations that could help assist in community-run pubs and shops, and is looking into how this could be set up, funded, including researching available grants
- the applicant confirmed that an enquiry and offer has been made to the landlord regarding purchasing the pub with the intention of continuing to use the premises as a pub/restaurant or potentially with a shop
- Great Yarmouth Borough Council has received one letter in support of the application. It has also been made aware by the nominating body that a survey was distributed across the area (500 leaflets) and that the majority had wanted the use to remain. One letter was received in objection of the application.
Assessment and reasons for the decision
- In order to qualify as an asset of community value, an asset must satisfy either the present or future conditions in Section 88(1) of the Act and of the past and future conditions in Section 88(2) of the Act.
- Having both considered the representations made by the applicant, other parties and internal research into the building's past use, Great Yarmouth Borough Council is of the view that the criteria for listing under Section 88(2)(a) of the Act has been satisfied. Section 88(2)(a) provides that there is a time in the recent past when an actual use of the building or other land that was not an ancillary use further the social wellbeing or interest of the local community.
- There is evidence within the public domain which supports the view that the building was trading as a public house until relatively recently (July 2021) and was hosting complementary recreational and social wellbeing activities when trading as a public house, including live music, dart competitions, clubs, quizzes and Macmillan coffee mornings. As Fritton is a very small village which lacks alternative community buildings and spaces, it is reasonable to conclude that the use of this building as a public house (alongside the range of complementary recreational and social wellbeing activities) did contribute towards furthering the social wellbeing and social interests of the local community.
- The second stage of the test is set out in Section 88(2)(b) which provides that it is realistic to think there is a time in the next five years that there could be non-ancillary use of the building or other land that would further (whether or not in the same way as before) the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.
- Over the past six to nine months there has been a coordinated effort by the parish council to try to manage, fund and acquire the buildings for its continued use as a public house, or potential hybrid use as public house/restaurant/shop for the local community.
- It is understood anecdotally that some financial capital has been raised by interested parties and offered to the current landowner to purchase the property. Whilst this was considered to be insufficient to purchase, it nonetheless signals a genuine interest of the local community in trying to secure the continued use of the property for the local community.
- These efforts to raise financial capital occurred prior to the building being put forward for nomination into the asset of community value listing process, therefore it is reasonable to assume that should the building be successfully listed as an asset of community value, that it may provide greater confidence and opportunity (in the short term) for other interested parties (alongside the parish council) to consider investing in the building which may prove ultimately successful in purchasing the building.
- The permanent loss of the public house would mean that the local community would need to travel to St Olaves to access the nearest alternative public house (Bell Inn). Whilst it is entirely possible that the Bell Inn could also facilitate the wider social and leisure pursuits that the Decoy Tavern Public House previously enjoyed hosting, it is unlikely that this would 'replace' the existing offer in a comparative manner, as the Bell Inn is located a 10 to 15 minute walking distance away via an unlit public footpath which is likely to be less desirable for the local community. Taken further it is also then reasonable to assume that the loss of the public house would, to some extent, impact upon the ability of the local community to continue to further their social wellbeing and social interests. This needs to be weighed into the decision making.
- To summarise, in the context of the local community taking proactive steps to try to manage, fund and acquire the building for continued use which until recently was performing a key social and wellbeing role within the local community, it is the view of Great Yarmouth Borough Council that the building has the potential capability to either continue to be used as public house or as a hybrid community use, and such use would likely continue to further the social and wellbeing interests of the local community in a directly accessible way.
- In accordance with Great Yarmouth Borough Council's Scheme of Delegation to Officers, it is my opinion that the:
- Nominated asset: Decoy Tavern Public House
- Site address: Beccles Road, Fritton, Great Yarmouth, NR31 9AB
- Does satisfy the statutory tests set out in Section 88(2) of the Act for the reasons set out above and will be listed as an asset of community value on Great Yarmouth Borough Council's list of assets of community value.
- Accordingly, I shall procure that this decision shall result in the Great Yarmouth Borough Council's list of successful nominations being updated.
Head of Planning and Growth