B&NES Council adds Packhorse Inn to community asset list
Villagers are hoping they may in future be able to buy their local pub.
The now-closed Packhorse Inn, in South Stoke, is the first property to be added to Bath and North East Somerset Council's List of Assets of Community Value.
Such registers are part of the Government's Localism Bill and enable local authorities to protect buildings and locations that enhance the social wellbeing of a community.
The inclusion of the Pack Horse means if the pub is put back on the market, the local community has six weeks to make a bid for it.
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However, the building could still be sold to another interested party. Last year villagers launched a campaign to save the pub after Punch Taverns closed it and put it up for sale.
The pub was eventually bought by Bath resident Martin Sherry who expressed an interest in restoring the building and using it as a private residence.
A spokesman for B&NES said the council had listed the pub as it had been used for police surgeries and local meetings.
He said: "The council also considered the strength of local support and concluded from the evidence supplied that it was realistic to think that in the next five years it could be used again to promote local social wellbeing."
The pub's listing is the result of an application by South Stoke Parish Council. Geoff Davis, clerk to the parish council, said the application was unrelated to the campaign to save the pub: "The parish council has identified a number of assets it wants to register and the Pack Horse was the first one.
"The reason we pursued this is because it is a valuable community asset."
Mr Sherry has made no comment on the issue.