Pub boss’s bid to stop boozer sale

The manager at a 200-year-old pub in Giltbrook has taken steps to stop the venue being closed and turned into a 
convenience store.

Les Moreland has successfully applied to get the New White Bull made an ‘asset of the local community’ – delaying the sale of the property and making it difficult to develop.

After the pub went on sale earlier this year, Sheppard Developments began proceedings to buy it – looking at turning it into a convenience store.

But making the pub an ‘asset of the local community’ has created a legal loophole enabling Mr Moreland to pause the sale for six months while he looks at placing a bid himself, and has made it difficult for Shepherd’s to get planning permission to develop it.

“It’s an old coaching inn that’s been untouched since it was built in the 1800s. We can’t let all that history go can we? We are doing everything we can,” he said.

Mr Moreland is also now trying to get Conservation Orders put on parts of the building to again make development difficult, and preserve its history, he said.

“If I can get any part of it registered to be protected I will,” he said.

“We’ve even got the original horse trough and stables here.

“If I protect the buildings frontage it will make it difficult to turn it into a shop, and if the stables were protected it would make it difficult to extend.

“If you go back through the history of this pub, some landlords have put in 30 years service. And they have done it through two world wars.

“We owe it to them,” he said.

Mr Moreland and his regulars launched a campaign to save the pub back in June after it was put up for sale by owner Greene King.

It is the only community pub in the area, has had darts and skittles teams meeting there for years and is also a regular meeting place for people with learning disabilities.

A committee of 21 people was needed for the community asset application, but an incredible 400 people came forward.

Mr Moreland said: “It was fantastic. I just couldn’t believe the amount of support there was. It’s such a community here.”

A Greene King spokesperson, said: “Now that the pub has been listed as an asset of community value we will, of course, follow the statutory process and await its outcome.”